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Full text of "Country reports on human rights practices : report submitted to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives and Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate by the Department of State in accordance with sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended"

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COUNTRY  REPORTS  ON  HUMAN  RIGHTS 
PRACTICES  FOR  1989    j  me.  r 

REPORT  ri-n  '"  ^^^-^Af;;/: 


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SUBMITTED  TO  THE 


COMMITTEE  ON  FOREIGN  AFFAIRS 
HOUSE  OF  REPRESENTATIVES 

AND  THE 

COMMITTEE  ON  FOREIGN  RELATIONS 
U.S.  SENATE 

BY  THE 

DEPARTMENT  OF  STATE 

IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  SECTIONS  116(d)  AND  502B(b)  OF  THE 
FOREIGN  ASSISTANCE  ACT  OF  1961,  AS  AMENDED 


FEBRUARY  1990 


Printed  for  the  use  of  the  Committees  on  Foreign  Affairs  and  Foreign 
Relations  of  the  House  of  Representatives  and  the  Senate  respectively 


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101st  Congress      1 
2d  Session  JOINT  COMMITTEE  PRINT 


COUNTRY  REPORTS  ON  HUMAN  RIGHTS 
PRACTICES  FOR  1989 


REPORT 

SUBMITTED  TO  THE 

COMMITTEE  ON  FOREIGN  AFFAIRS 
HOUSE  OF  REPRESENTATIVES 

AND  THE 

COMMITTEE  ON  FOREIGN  RELATIONS 
U.S.  SENATE 

BY  THE 

DEPARTMENT  OF  STATE 

IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  SECTIONS  116(d)  AND  502B(b)  OF  THE 
FOREIGN  ASSISTANCE  ACT  OF  1961,  AS  AMENDED 


FEBRUARY  1990 


Printed  for  the  use  of  the  Committees  on  Foreign  Affairs  and  Foreign 
Relations  of  the  House  of  Representatives  and  the  Senate  respectively 


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COMMITTEE  ON  FOREIGN  AFFAIRS 
DANTE  B.  FASCELL,  Florida,  Chairman 


LEE  H.  HAMILTON,  Indiana 

GUS  YATRON,  Pennsylvania 

STEPHEN  J.  SOLARZ,  New  York 

GERRY  E.  STUDDS,  Massachusetts 

HOWARD  WOLPE,  Michigan 

GEO.  W.  CROCKETT,  Jr.,  Michigan 

SAM  GEJDENSON,  Connecticut 

MERVYN  M.  DYMALLY,  California 

TOM  LANTOS,  California 

PETER  H.  KOSTMAYER,  Pennsylvania 

ROBERT  G.  TORRICELLI,  New  Jersey 

LAWRENCE  J.  SMITH,  Florida 

HOWARD  L.  BERMAN,  California 

MEL  LEVINE,  California 

EDWARD  F.  FEIGHAN,  Ohio 

TED  WEISS,  New  York 

GARY  L.  ACKERMAN,  New  York 

MORRIS  K.  UDALL,  Arizona 

JAMES  McCLURE  CLARKE,  North  Carolina 

JAIME  B.  FUSTER,  Puerto  Rico 

WAYNE  OWENS,  Utah 

HARRY  JOHNSTON,  Florida 

ELIOT  L.  ENGEL,  New  York 

ENI  F.H.  FALEOMAVAEGA,  American 

Samoa 
DOUGLAS  H.  BOSCO,  California 
FRANK  McCLOSKEY,  Indiana 
DONALD  M.  PAYNE,  New  Jersey 

John  J.  Brady,  Jr.,  Chief  of  Staff 
John  R.  Sinclair,  Minority  Chief  of  Staff 


WILLIAM  S.  BROOMHELD,  Michigan 

BENJAMIN  A.  OILMAN,  New  York 

ROBERT  J.  LAGOMARSINO,  California 

JIM  LEACH,  Iowa 

TOBY  ROTH,  Wisconsin 

OLYMPIA  J.  SNOWE,  Maine 

HENRY  J.  HYDE,  Illinois 

DOUG  BEREUTER,  Nebraska 

CHRISTOPHER  H.  SMITH,  New  Jersey 

MICHAEL  DeWINE,  Ohio 

DAN  BURTON,  Indiana 

JAN  MEYERS,  Kansas 

JOHN  MILLER,  Washington 

DONALD  E.  "BUZ"  LUKENS,  Ohio 

BEN  BLAZ,  Guam 

ELTON  GALLEGLY,  California 

AMO  HOUGHTON,  New  York 

PORTER  J.  GOSS,  Florida 

ILEANA  ROS-LEHTINEN,  Florida 


COMMITTEE  ON  FOREIGN  RELATIONS 
CLAIBORNE  PELL,  Rhode  Island,  Chairman 


JOSEPH  R.  BIDEN,  Jr.,  Delaware 
PAUL  S.  SARBANES,  Maryland 
ALAN  CRANSTON,  California 
CHRISTOPHER  J.  DODD,  Connecticut 
JOHN  F.  KERRY.  Massachusetts 
PAUL  SIMON,  Illinois 
TERRY  SANFORD,  North  Carolina 
DANIEL  PATRICK  MOYNIHAN,  New  York 
CHARLES  S.  ROBB,  Virginia 


JESSE  HELMS,  North  Carolina 
RICHARD  G.  LUGAR,  Indiana 
NANCY  L.  KASSEBAUM,  Kansas 
RUDY  BOSCHWITZ,  Minnesota 
LARRY  PRESSLER,  South  Dakota 
FRANK  H.  MURKOWSKI,  Alaska 
MITCH  McCONNELL,  Kentucky 
GORDON  J.  HUMPHREY,  New  Hampshire 
CONNIE  MACK,  Florida 


Geryld  B.  Christianson,  Staff  Director 
James  P.  Lucier,  Minority  Staff  Director 


(II) 


FOREWORD 


The  country  reports  on  human  rights  practices  contained  herein 
were  prepared  by  the  Department  of  State  in  accordance  with  sec- 
tions 116(d)  and  502B(b)  of  the  Foreign  Assistance  Act  of  1961,  as 
amended.  They  also  fulfill  the  legislative  requirements  of  section 
31  of  the  Bretton  Woods  Agreements  Act  and  section  505(c)  of  the 
Trade  Act  of  1974,  as  amended. 

The  reports  cover  the  human  rights  practices  of  all  nations  that 
receive  U.S.  foreign  assistance  as  well  as  those  nations  that  do  not 
but  are  members  of  the  United  Nations.  They  are  printed  to  assist 
Members  of  Congress  in  the  consideration  of  legislation. 

Dante  B.  Fascell, 
Chairman,  Committee  on  Foreign  Affairs. 
Claiborne  Pell, 
Chairman,  Committee  on  Foreign  Relations. 

(Ill) 


LETTER  OF  TRANSMITTAL 


Department  of  State, 
Washington,  DC,  January  31,  1990. 
Hon.  Claiborne  Pell, 

Chairman,  Committee  on  Foreign  Relations, 
Hon.  Thomas  S.  Foley, 
Speaker,  House  of  Representatives. 

Dear  Sirs:  I  have  the  distinct  honor  to  present  the  report  pre- 
pared in  compUance  with  sections  116(d)(1)  and  502B(b)  of  the  For- 
eign Assistance  Act  of  1961,  as  amended,  and  section  505(c)  of  the 
Trade  Act  of  1974,  as  amended. 
With  best  wishes, 
Sincerely, 

Janet  G.  Mullins, 
Assistant  Secretary,  Legislative  Affairs. 

Enclosure. 

(V) 


CONTENTS 


Page 

Foreword iii 

Letter  of  Transmittal v 

Introduction 1 

Africa: 

Angola 6 

Benin 14 

Botswana 22 

Burkina  Faso 30 

Burundi 37 

Cameroon 46 

Cape  Verde 55 

Central  African  Republic 61 

Chad 69 

Comoros 77 

Congo 83 

Cote  d'lvoire 91 

Djibouti 98 

Equatorial  Guinea 104 

Ethiopia 110 

Gabon 123 

Gambia,  The 130 

Ghana 137 

Guinea 146 

Guinea-Bissau 153 

Kenya 159 

Lesotho 173 

Liberia 182 

Madagascar 193 

Malawi 203 

Mali 211 

Mauritania 218 

Mauritius 228 

Mozambique 235 

Namibia 246 

Niger 261 

Nigeria 268 

Rwanda 283 

Sao  Tome  and  Principe 291 

Senegal 297 

Seychelles 307 

Sierra  Leone 314 

Somalia 321 

South  Africa 332 

Sudan 355 

Swaziland 373 

Tanzania 383 

Togo 394 

Uganda 402 

Zaire 413 

Zambia 426 

Zimbabwe 435 

Central  and  South  America: 

Antigua  and  Barbuda 448 

Argentina 453 

Bahamas 461 

(VII) 


VIII 

Page 

Central  and  South  America — Continued 

Barbados 466 

Belize 471 

Bolivia 477 

Brazil 484 

Chile 497 

Colombia 510 

Costa  Rica 522 

Cuba 529 

Dominica 547 

Dominican  Republic 551 

Ecuador 562 

El  Salvador 569 

Grenada 590 

Guatemala 597 

Guyana 611 

Haiti 620 

Honduras 630 

Jamaica 644 

Mexico 653 

Nicaragua 667 

Panama 683 

Paraguay 695 

Peru 708 

St.  Kitts  and  Nevis 724 

St.  Lucia 728 

St.  Vincent  and  the  Grenadines 732 

Suriname 736 

Trinidad  and  Tobago 744 

Uruguay 752 

Venezuela 760 

East  Asia  and  the  Pacific: 

Australia 769 

Brunei 774 

Burma 780 

Cambodia 792 

China 802 

China  (Taiwan  only) 826 

Fiji 840 

Indonesia 849 

Japan 867 

Kiribati 873 

Korea,  Democratic  People's  Republic  of 877 

Korea,  Republic  of 885 

Laos 900 

Malaysia 908 

Marshall  Islands 921 

Micronesia,  Federated  States  of 924 

Mongolia 928 

Nauru 934 

New  Zealand 939 

Papua  New  Guinea 944 

Philippines 950 

Singapore 969 

Solomon  Islands 982 

Thailand 986 

Tonga 1002 

Vanuatu 1006 

Vietnam 1011 

Western  Samoa 1020 

Europe  and  North  America: 

Albania 1025 

Austria 1033 

Belgium 1039 

Bulgaria 1044 

Canada 1061 

Cyprus 1066 


IX 

Page 

Europe  and  North  America — Continued 

Czechoslovakia 1072 

Denmark 1088 

Estonia 1093 

Finland 1103 

France 1109 

German  Democratic  Republic 1115 

Germany,  Federal  Republic  of 1127 

Greece 1133 

Hungary 1142 

Iceland 1154 

Ireland 1159 

Italy 1164 

Latvia 1170 

Lithuania 1177 

Luxembourg 1186 

Malta 1191 

Netherlands,  The 1197 

Norway 1203 

Poland 1209 

Portugal 1220 

Romania 1228 

Spain 1243 

Sweden 1249 

Switzerland 1255 

Turkey 1260 

Union  of  Soviet  Socialist  Republics 1274 

United  Kingdom 1292 

Yugoslavia 1304 

Near  East,  North  Africa,  and  South  Asia: 

Afghanistan 1320 

Algeria 1328 

Bahrain 1339 

Bangladesh 1347 

Bhutan 1359 

Egypt 1365 

India 1381 

Iran 1400 

Iraq 1411 

Israel  and  the  occupied  territories 1423 

Jordan 1446 

Kuwait 1455 

Lebanon 1468 

Libya 1479 

Maldives 1486 

Morocco 1492 

The  Western  Sahara 1506 

Nepal 1508 

Oman 1519 

Pakistan 1526 

Qatar 1542 

Saudi  Arabia 1549 

Sri  Lanka 1561 

Syria 1579 

Tunisia 1591 

United  Arab  Emirates 1602 

Yemen  Arab  Republic 1609 

Yemen,  People's  Democratic  Republic  of 1619 

Appendixes: 

A.  Notes  on  preparation  of  the  reports 1624 

B.  Reporting  on  worker  rights 1627 

C.  Selected  international  human  rights  agreements 1629 

D.  Explanation  of  statistical  table 1636 

E.  U.S.  bilateral  assistance  FY  1989 1637 


COUNTRY  REPORTS  ON  HUMAN  RIGHTS  PRACTICES 


INTRODUCTION 


1989  Human  Rights  Report 

This  report  is  submitted  to  the  Congress  by  the  Department  of 
State  in  compliance  with  Sections  116(d)(1)  and  502B(b)  of  the 
Foreign  Assistance  Act  of  1961,  as  amended.*   The  legislation 
requires  human  rights  reports  on  all  countries  that  receive 
aid  from  the  United  States  and  all  countries  that  are  members 
of  the  United  Nations.   In  the  belief  that  the  information 
would  be  useful  to  the  Congress  and  other  readers,  we  have 
also  included  reports  on  the  few  countries  which  do  not  fall 
into  either  of  these  categories  and  which  thus  are  not  covered 
by  the  Congressional  requirement. 

Congress  amended  the  Foreign  Assistance  Act  with  the  foregoing 
sections  of  law  so  as  to  to  be  able  to  consult  these  reports 
when  considering  assistance  programs  for  specific  foreign 
countries.   One  of  the  very  important  consequences — perhaps 
unintended — of  these  legislative  provisions  is  that  they  have 
made  human  rights  concerns  an  integral  part  of  the  State 
Department's  daily  reporting  and  daily  decisionmaking.   A 
human  rights  officer  in  an  Embassy  overseas  who  wants  to  write 
a  good  annual  human  rights  report  on  the  country  in  which  he 
or  she  works  must  carefully  monitor  and  observe  human  rights 
developments  throughout  the  year  on  a  daily  basis.   As  a 
consequence  he  or  she  will  report  on  such  developments 
whenever  something  of  human  rights  significance  happens  in  the 
country  of  assignment.   In  the  past  12  years,  the  State 
Department  has  become  decidedly  better  informed  on  and 
sensitized  to  human  rights  violations  as  they  occur  around  the 
globe. 


*  Section  116(d)(1)  of  the  Foreign  Assistance  Act  provides  as 
follows: 

"The  Secretary  of  State  shall  transmit  to  the  Speaker  of  the 
House  of  Representatives  and  the  Committee  on  Foreign  Relations 
of  the  Senate,  by  January  31  of  each  year,  a  full  and  complete 
report  regarding... 

"(1)   the  status  of  internationally  recognized  human 
rights,  within  the  meaning  of  subsection  (a)... 

(A)  in  countries  that  received  assistance  under  this 
part,  and 

(B)  in  all  other  foreign  countries  which  are  members  of 
the  United  Nations  and  which  are  not  otherwise  the  subject  of 
a  human  rights  report  under  this  Act." 

Section  502(B) (b)  of  the  Foreign  Assistance  Act  provides  as 
follows : 

"The  Secretary  of  State  shall  transmit  to  Congress,  as  part  of 
the  presentation  materials  for  security  assistance  programs 
proposed  for  each  fiscal  year,  a  full  and  complete  report, 
prepared  with  the  assistance  of  the  Assistant  Secretary  of 
State  for  Human  Rights  and  Humanitarian  Affairs,  with  respect 
to  practices  regarding  the  observance  of  and  respect  for 
internationally  recognized  human  rights  in  each  country 
proposed  as  a  recipient  of  security  assistance." 

(1) 


The  year  1989  may  very  well  go  down  in  history  books  as  a 
watershed  year  regarding  the  worldwide  cause  of  human  rights. 
The  revolutionary  changes  in  Bulgaria,  Czechoslovakia,  the 
German  Democratic  Republic,  and  Romania  le£t  Albania  as  the 
only  totalitarian  regime  left  intact  in  Europe  by  year's  end. 
In  Poland's  elections.  Solidarity  won  nearly  all  contested 
seats  and  saw  one  of  its  members  installed  as  Prime  Minister. 
Constitutional  reforms  in  Hungary  should  lead  to  the 
installation  of  a  government  by  consent  of  the  governed  in 
1990.   Free  elections  are  promised  in  Bulgaria, 
Czechoslovakia,  the  GDR,  and  Romania. 

What  was  striking  about  these  dramatic  changes  in  Eastern 
Europe  was  that,  except  for  those  in  Romania,  they  occurred 
almost  without  bloodshed.   The  Soviet  Union's  acceptance  of 
these  changes  was  undoubtedly  a  significant  factor  in  the 
peaceful  character  of  the  transition,  as  was  the  orderly  and 
democratic  spirit  of  the  popular  movements  themselves. 

The  spectacular  events  in  what  were  once  known  as  the  Soviet 
satellites  tended  to  overshadow  remarkable  steps  taken  by  the 
Soviet  Union  in  the  direction  of  an  open  society.   Elections 
to  the  Congress- of  Peoples'  Deputies,  though  rigged  in  some 
areas,  were  genuine  contests  in  others,  and  resulted  in  the 
election  of  numerous  opponents  of  the  old  order.   The  Supreme 
Soviet,  chosen  from  members  of  the  Congress,  became  a 
legislative  branch  relatively  independent  of  the  executive. 
There  was  further  progress  regarding  freedom  of  expression,  of 
association,  of  assembly,  and  of  religion.   Many  restrictions 
on  emigration  were  relaxed. 

Though  reformers  strengthened  their  hold  on  the  top  echelon  of 
the  Soviet  Government,  "new  thinking"  has  failed  to  penetrate 
many  parts  of  the  Soviet  bureaucracy.   Incidents  of  the 
autocratic  use  of  power  continue  to  be  reported.   The  absence 
of  a  legal  tradition  and  of  legal  institutions  empowered  to 
protect  the  rights  of  individuals  add  to  the  leadership's 
difficulty  in  getting  its  reform  policies  fully  enforced.   The 
creation  of  an  independent  judiciary  remains  critically 
important  for  the  enhancement  of  respect  for  human  rights  in 
the  Soviet  Union. 

In  the  Western  hemisphere,  democratic  processes  and  human 
rights  gained  considerable  ground.   The  year  1989  marked  the 
end  of  the  Stroessner  dictatorship  in  Paraguay,  election  of 
the  leader  of  the  democratic  opposition  as  President  of  Chile, 
and  peaceful  elections  in  Argentina,  Brazil,  Uruguay,  El 
Salvador,  and  Honduras.   Elsewhere  in  the  world,  human  rights 
progress  was  recorded  in  southern  Africa,  where  U.N.- 
supervised  elections  took  place  in  Namibia.   The  newly  elected 
constituent  assembly  began  drafting  a  new  constitution,  and  we 
expect  independence  day  to  be  in  the  early  part  of  1990. 
Newly  elected  President  de  Klerk  of  South  Africa  has  taken 
some  encouraging  steps  leading  to  dialogue  with  the  black 
opposition. 

Around  the  globe,  the  positive  trends  are  unmistakable,  making 
the  setbacks  all  the  more  stark.   After  having  moved  in  the 
direction  of  a  freer  society  for  more  than  a  decade,  China 
reversed  course  last  June  with  its  suppression  of  student 
protests,  large-scale  arrests,  renewed  prohibition  of  the 
expression  of  dissenting  views,  and  a  renewed  commitment  to 
totalitarian  governance  and  indoctrination.   Severe  repression 
of  all  forms  of  political  opposition  continued  in  Burma,  and 
North  Korea  remained  one  of  the  most  repressive  totalitarian 
regimes . 


Going  against  the  prevailing  trend  in  the  Western  Hemisphere 
was  Cuba,  which  once  again  sharpened  repression,  particularly 
of  human  rights  activists,  many  of  whom  had  cooperated  with 
the  1988-89  U.N.  Human  Rights  Commission  investigation.   The 
Government  staged  a  show-trial  and  then  executed  a  group  of 
military  officers  who  might  have  been  a  threat  to  Castro. 
Also  of  concern  was  the  serious  setback  in  Haiti  in  January 
1990  involving  the  suspension  of  civil  liberties  and  the 
arrest,  beating,  and/or  deportation  of  prominent  opposition 
politicians. 

Ethnic  violence  in  Senegal  and  Mauritania  took  scores  of  lives 
in  both  countries  and  resulted  in  the  displacement  of  at  least 
200,000  people.   In  Liberia,  unknown  numbers  of  persons  were 
killed,  and  thousands  sought  refuge  in  neighboring  countries 
during  fighting  between  dissidents  and  units  of  the  army. 

Ethnic  strife  and  insurgency  took  at  least  8,500  lives  in  Sri 
Lanka  and  more  than  1,000  lives  in  Sudan.   Repressive  measures 
and  clan  warfare  in  Somalia  caused  the  deaths  of  perhaps 
several  thousand  persons,  and  repression  and  civil  war 
resulted  in  thousands  of  casualties  in  Ethiopia. 

Other  areas  plagued  by  insurgency,  civil  unrest,  terrorism, 
and  countermeasures  taken  by  governments  include  Colombia,  El 
Salvador,  Guatemala,  India,  the  Israeli-occupied  territories. 
Northern  Ireland,  Peru,  and  the  Phillippines,  as  well  as 
long-suffering  Lebanon.   Elsewhere  armed  conflicts  continue  to 
be  waged  in  Angola,  Mozambique,  Cambodia,  and  Afghanistan. 

As  we  look  to  1990,  the  questions  before  us  and  before  the 
world  community  are  whether  the  human  rights  gains  of  1989  in 
Eastern  Europe  and  other  parts  of  the  world  will  be  lasting 
achievements.   Is  there  a  danger  of  relapse?  Will  human 
rights  problems  stemming  from  domestic  rather  than 
international  conflicts  increasingly  draw  our  attention? 

For  our  part,  the  United  States  remains  committed  to  the 
worldwide  promotion  and  consolidation  of  human  rights  and 
democracy.   We  see  these  goals  as  principal  foreign  policy 
challenges.   We  actively  champion  them  abroad  because  they 
reflect  the  best  that  is  in  ourselves.   And  we  do  so  because 
we  have  found  that  in  those  countries  where  human  rights  and 
democratic  values  have  taken  hold,  we  find  friends — not 
enemies.   These  are  the  world's  most  stable  governments,  the 
most  dynamic  societies,  the  bulwarks  of  freedom,  respectful  of 
the  rights  of  their  citizens  and  of  their  neighbors,  and  the 
most  responsible  contributors  to  the  well-being  of  the  world 
community. 

This  year,  as  last,  there  are  159  separate  reports.   The 
guidelines  followed  in  preparing  the  reports  are  explained  in 
detail  in  Appendix  A.   In  Appendix  B  is  a  discussion  of 
reporting  on  worker  rights,  as  required  by  Section  505(c)  of 
the  Trade  Act  of  1974,  as  amended  by  Title  V  of  the  Trade  and 
Tariff  Act  of  1984  (Generalized  System  of  Preferences  Renewal 
Act  of  1984) .• 

Although  the  legislation  requires  reports  on  worker  rights 
only  in  developing  countries  that  have  been  beneficiaries 


*  Section  505  (c)  of  the  Trade  Act  provides  as  follows: 

"The  President  shall  submit  an  annual  report  to  the 
Congress  on  the  status  of  internationally  recognized  worker 
rights  within  each  beneficiary  developing  country." 


under  the  Generalized  System  of  Preferences,  in  the  interest 
of  uniformity,  and  to  provide  a  ready  basis  for  comparison,  we 
have  here  applied  the  same  reporting  standards  that  we  have 
applied  to  all  countries  on  which  we  prepare  reports. 
Appendix  C  contains  a  list  of  12  international  human  rights 
covenants  and  agreements  and  indicates  which  countries  have 
ratified  them.   Appendix  D  contains  explanatory  notes  on  the 
statistical  table  in  Appendix  E,  which  shows  the  amounts 
obligated  for  U.S.  economic  and  military  assistance  for  fiscal 
year  1989. 

Definition  of  Human  Rights 

Human  rights,  as  defined  in  Section  116(a)  of  the  Foreign 
Assistance  Act,  include  freedom  from  torture  or  other  cruel, 
inhuman,  or  degrading  treatment  or  punishment;  prolonged 
detention  without  charges;  disappearance  due  to  abduction  or 
clandestine  detention;  and  other  flagrant  denial  of  the  rights 
to  life,  liberty,  and  the  security  of  the  person. 
Internationally  recognized  worker  rights,  as  defined  in 
Section  502(a)  of  the  Trade  Act,  include  (A)  the  right  of 
association;  (B)  the  right  to  organize  and  bargain 
collectively;  (C)  prohibition  on  the  use  of  any  form  of  forced 
or  compulsory  labor;  (D)  a  minimum  age  for  the  employment  of 
children;  and  (E)  acceptable  conditions  of  work  with  respect 
to  minimum  wages,  hours  of  work,  and  occupational  safety  and 
health. 

In  addition  to  discussing  the  topics  specified  in  the 
legislation,  our  reports,  as  in  previous  years,  cover  other 
internationally  recognized  political  and  civil  rights  and 
describe  the  political  system  of  each  country. 

In  applying  these  internationally  recognized  standards,  we 
seek  to  be  objective.   But  the  reports  unashamedly  reflect  the 
U.S.  view  that  the  right  of  self-government  is  a  basic 
political  right,  that  government  is  legitimate  only  when 
grounded  on  the  consent  of  the  governed,  and  that  government 
thus  grounded  should  not  be  used  to  deny  life,  liberty,  and 
the  pursuit  of  happiness.   Individuals  in  a  society  have  the 
inalienable  right  to  be  free  from  governmental  violations  of 
the  integrity  of  the  person;  to  enjoy  civil  liberties  such  as 
freedom  of  expression,  assembly,  religion,  and  movement, 
without  discrimination  based  on  race,  ancestry,  or  sex;  and  to 
change  their  government  by  peaceful  means.   The  reports  also 
take  into  account  the  fact  that  terrorists  and  guerrilla 
groups  often  kill,  torture,  or  maim  citizens  or  deprive  them 
of  their  liberties;  such  violations  are  no  less  reprehensible 
if  committed  by  violent  opponents  of  the  government  than  if 
committed  by  the  government  itself. 

We  have  found  that  the  concept  of  economic,  social,  and 
cultural  rights  is  often  confused,  sometimes  willfully,  by 
repressive  governments  claiming  that,  in  order  to  promote 
these  "rights,"  they  may  deny  their  citizens  the  right  to 
integrity  of  the  person  as  well  as  political  and  civil 
rights.   There  exists  a  profound  connection  between  human 
rights  and  economic  development.   Experience  demonstrates  that 
it  is  individual  freedom  that  sets  the  stage  for  economic  and 
social  development;  it  is  repression  that  stifles  it.   Those 
who  try  to  justify  subordinating  political  and  civil  rights  on 
the  ground  that  they  are  concentrating  on  economic  aspirations 
invariably  deliver  neither.   That  is  why  we  consider  it 
imperative  to  focus  urgent  attention  on  violations  of  basic 
political  and  civil  rights.   If  these  basic  rights  are  not 
secured,  experience  has  shown,  the  goals  of  economic 


development  are  not  reached  either.   This  is  a  point  which  the 
Soviet  Union's  reformers  seem  to  have  recognized. 

United  States  Human  Rights  PolicY 

From  this  premise,  that  basic  human  rights  may  not  be  abridged 
or  denied,  it  follows  that  our  human  rights  policy  is  concerned 
with  the  limitations  on  the  powers  of  government  that  are 
required  to  protect  the  integrity  and  dignity  of  the 
individual.   Further,  it  is  in  our  national  interest  to 
promote  democratic  processes  in  order  to  help  build  a  world 
environment  more  favorable  to  respect  for  human  rights  and 
hence  more  conducive  to  stability  and  peace.   We  have 
developed,  therefore,  a  dual  policy,  reactive  in  the  sense 
that  we  continue  to  oppose  specific  human  rights  violations 
wherever  they  occur,  but  at  the  same  time  active  in  working 
over  the  long  term  to  strengthen  democracy. 

In  much  of  the  world,  the  United  States  has  a  variety  of  means 
at  its  disposal  to  respond  to  human  rights  violations.   We 
engage  in  traditional  diplomacy,  particularly  with  friendly 
governments,  where  frank  diplomatic  exchanges  are  possible  and 
productive.   Where  we  find  limited  opportunities  for  the  United 
States  to  exert  significant  influence  through  bilateral 
relations,  we  resort  to  public  statements  of  our  concerns, 
calling  attention  to  countries  where  respect  for  human  rights 
is  lacking.   In  a  number  of  instances,  we  employ  a  mixture  of 
traditional  diplomacy  and  public  affirmation  of  American 
interest  in  the  issue. 

The  United  States  also  employs  a  variety  of  means  to  encourage 
greater  respect  for  human  rights  over  the  long  term.   Since 
1983  the  National  Endowment  for  Democracy  has  been  carrying 
out  programs  designed  to  promote  democratic  practices  abroad, 
involving  the  two  major  United  States  political  parties,  labor 
unions,  business  groups,  and  many  private  institutions.   Also, 
through  Section  116(e)  of  the  Foreign  Assistance  Act,  funds 
are  disbursed  by  the  Agency  for  International  Development  for 
programs  designed  to  promote  civil  and  political  rights  abroad. 
We  also  seek  greater  international  commitment  to  the  protection 
of  human  rights  and  respect  for  democracy  through  our  efforts 
in  the  United  Nations  and  other  international  organizations, 
and  in  the  process  devised  by  the  Conference  on  Security  and 
Cooperation  in  Europe. 

Preparation  of  these  annual  reports  constitutes  an  important 
element  of  our  human  rights  policy.   The  process,  since  it 
involves  continuous  and  well-publicized  attention  to  human 
rights,  has  contributed  to  the  strengthening  of  an 
international  human  rights  agenda.   Many  countries  that  are 
strong  supporters  of  human  rights  are  taking  steps  of  their 
own  to  engage  in  human  rights  reporting  and  have  established 
offices  specifically  responsible  for  international  human 
rights  policy.   Even  among  countries  without  strong  human 
rights  records,  sensitivity  to  these  reports  increasingly 
takes  the  form  of  constructive  response,  or  at  least  a 
willingness  to  engage  in  a  discussion  of  human  rights  policy. 
In  calling  upon  the  Department  of  State  to  prepare  these 
reports.  Congress  has  created  a  useful  instrument  for 
advancing  the  cause  of  human  rights. 


Richard  Schifter 
Assistant  Secretary  of  State 
for  Human  Rights  and  Humanitarian  Affairs 


AFRICA 

ANGOLA* 


The  People's  Republic  of  Angola  (PRA)  is  ruled  by  the  sole 
legal  political  party,  the  Marxist-Leninist  Popular  Movement 
for  the  Liberation  of  Angola  (MPLA) .   President  Jose  Eduardo 
Dos  Santos  is  both  Head  of  State  and  chief  of  the  MPLA.   His 
rule  was  reconfirmed  by  the  MPLA's  Second  Party  Congress  in 
December  1985.   All  major  policy  decisions  are  made  by  a  small 
elite  in  the  MPLA,  which  also  controls  all  means  of  mass 
communication.   Open  political  dissension  is  not  tolerated. 


force  of  about  30,000,  as  well  as  a  comparable  number  of 
irregular  troops.   It  has  the  allegiance  of  a  substantial 
portion  of  the  population,  especially  among  Angola's  largest 
ethnic  group,  the  Ovimbundu. 

UNITA  controls  the  southeastern  quarter  of  Angola's 
territory.   The  United  States  supports  UNITA  in  the  Angolan 
conflict  and  has  provided  it  with  assistance.   The  PRA 
receives  extensive  military  assistance  from  the  Soviet  Union. 
As  of  November  1,  1989,  half  of  the  estimated  50,000  Cuban 
troops  who  were  stationed  in  the  country  had  been  withdrawn  in 
accordance  with  the  New  York  accords  of  December  22,  1988. 
Under  these  agreements,  Cuba  is  obligated  to  withdraw  a  total 
of  33,000  troops  by  April  1990,  and  all  Cuban  troops  are  to  be 
out  of  Angola  by  July  1,  1991. 

A  civil  war,  combined  with  a  Communist  command-style  economy, 
has  devastated  the  country's  infrastructure,  forced  a  return 
to  barter  in  some  areas,  and  led  the  PRA  to  divert  much  of  its 
revenues  to  the  military,  including  payments  to  the  Soviet 
Union  for  military  equipment  and  to  Cuba  for  combat  troops. 
Although  the  PRA  receives  substantial  foreign  exchange 
earnings  from  oil  exports,  the  expenditure  of  hard  currency 
for  weapons  and  the  impact  of  war  on  the  productivity  and 
distribution  networks  of  Angolan  agriculture  appear  to  have 
created  a  chronic  food  shortage  in  both  the  cities  and  the 
countryside.   The  PRA,  in  response  to  the  generally  critical 
economic  situation,  announced  in  1987  its  intention  to 
institute  some  market-oriented  economic  reforms.   By  the  end 
of  1989,  little  progress  had  been  made,  although  the 
International  Monetary  Fund  voted  in  midyear  to  admit  the  PRA. 

The  civil  war  between  the  PRA  and  UNITA  has  ravaged  Angola 
since  1975  and  has  resulted  in  widespread  human  rights  abuses 
on  both  sides  with  many  civilian  casualties.   A  regional 
conflict  on  Angolan  and  Namibian  territory  has  added  further 
destruction  and  violence.   On  December  22,  1988,  the  Republic 
of  Cuba,  the  People's  Republic  of  Angola,  and  the  Republic  of 
South  Africa  signed  a  series  of  agreements  (the  New  York 
accords)  under  U.S.  mediation  which  are  leading  to 
independence  for  Namibia  in  accordance  with  the  U.N. 
Settlement  Plan  and  the  phased  and  total  withdrawal  of  Cuban 
troops  from  Angola.   This  has  significantly  reduced  regional 


*The  United  States  does  not  recognize  or  maintain  diplomatic 
relations  with  the  People's  Republic  of  Angola  and  has  no 
diplomatic  personnel  there  to  monitor  human  rights  conditions 
or  evaluate  allegations  of  abuses. 


ANGOLA 

tensions.   In  June  1989,  at  Gbadolite,  Zaire,  President  Dos 
Santos  and  Dr.  Savimbi,  leader  of  UNITA,  agreed  to  a  ceasefire 
and  committed  themselves  to  achieving  national 
reconciliation.   In  the  months  that  followed,  the  cease-fire 
broke  down  and  fighting  resumed  with  new  charges  of  human 
rights  abuses.   In  December  the  PRA,  with  the  help  of  Soviet 
advisers,  launched  a  new  military  offensive  into  UNITA- 
controlled  areas  of  southeastern  Angola.   As  the  year  ended, 
the  U.S.,  Zaire,  and  other  countries  in  the  region  were 
working  to  reestablish  the  cease-fire  and  get  negotiations 
started  to  end  the  civil  war. 

One  human  rights  group,  Africa  Watch,  has  estimated  total 
civil  war  victims  at  200,000  Angolans  killed,  more  than  20,000 
children  orphaned,  and  20,000  to  50,000  Angolans  left  as 
amputees  due  to  the  widespread  use  of  land  mines  by  both 
sides.   In  addition  to  extensive  violence  against  civilians, 
human  rights  remained  restricted  across  the  board  with 
problems  of  mistreatment  of  prisoners,  arbitrary  detentions, 
lack  of  fair  trial,  and  restrictions  on  freedom  of  speech, 
press,  association,  movement,  worker  rights,  and  the  right  of 
citizens  to  change  their  government. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

Reports  of  political  killings  on  the  part  of  PRA  forces  and 
UNITA,  both  in  combat  areas  and  in  the  form  of  summary 
executions  of  prisoners,  persisted  in  1989.   It  is  difficult 
to  evaluate  the  various  claims  and  counterclaims.   The 
fighting  also  resulted  in  many  civilian  deaths.   While  some  of 
these  deaths  were  inadvertently  caused  by  military  operations, 
others  may  have  been  deliberately  perpetrated  by  opposing 
forces  to  intimidate  civilian  populations.   The  PRA  and  UNITA 
publicly  and  repeatedly  accused  each  other  of  practicing 
terrorism  against  their  respective  opponents,  including 
killing  or  maiming  civilians. 

UNITA  has  charged  that  Cuban  forces  have  been  involved  in 
attacks  on  civilians.   In  addition,  UNITA  has  asserted  that 
FAPLA  and  Cuban  forces  used  aerial  chemical  warfare  against 
military  and  civilian  opponents  in  1989.   Tests  carried  out  by 
American  forensic  experts,  however,  did  not  yield  postive 
results . 

b.  Disappearance 

There  is  no  information  either  to  confirm  or  deny  that  secret 
arrests  or  clandestine  detentions  are  practiced  by  PRA 
security  agencies  or  by  UNITA,  although  each  side  has  accused 
the  other  of  such  practices. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Allegations  of  torture  and  mistreatment  made  by  both  sides 
appear  to  have  some  basis  in  fact,  but  torture  of  opponents 
does  not  appear  to  be  a  generalized  systematic  practice  of 
either  PRA  organizations  or  UNITA.   The  number  of  torture 
allegations  against  UNITA  increased  in  1989.   Little 
information  is  available  on  the  administrative  structure  and 


ANGOLA 

practices  within  UNITA-held  areas.   Reports  that  UNITA 
mistreats  some  prisoners  could  neither  be  confirmed  nor 
disproved . 

PRA  prison  authorities  reportedly  have  wide  latitude  in  the 
treatment  of  prisoners.   Treatment  of  political  detainees  in 
the  prisons  controlled  by  the  PRA  Ministry  of  State  Security 
appears  to  be  harsher  than  treatment  in  the  regular  prisons. 
There  are  reports  of  sexual  torture  of  UNITA  prisoners  and 
mistreatment,  including  beatings,  threats,  and  prolonged 
interrogation  with  the  use  of  force.   Family  visits  appear  to 
be  arbitrarily  restricted  in  many  instances.   In  1989  foreign 
advisers,  including  Cubans  and  East  Germans,  continued  to 
assist  PRA  state  security  services  and  may  have  helped  operate 
the  state  security  prisons.   AI ' s  1989  Report  notes  that  three 
former  security  officials  were  convicted  of  ill-treating 
prisoners  during  1988  (nine  were  tried) . 

d.   Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Under  laws  enacted  by  the  PRA,  persons  suspected  of  committing 
serious  acts  against  "state  security"  may  be  held  by  the 
Ministry  of  State  Security  without  charge  for  an  initial 
period  of  3  months,  renewable  for  a  further  period  of  3 
months.   Such  detainees  need  not  be  presented  to  a  judge 
within  48  hours  of  their  arrest,  as  stipulated  in  the  Code  of 
Criminal  Procedure  for  persons  suspected  of  other  kinds  of 
crime,  and  apparently  have  no  right  to  challenge  the  grounds 
of  their  detention.   After  6  months  in  detention  without 
charge,  the  detainee  must  be  informed  of  the  accusations,  with 
the  State  Security  Service  either  informing  the  public 
prosecutor  of  the  charges  or  releasing  the  suspect.   Once  the 
case  is  presented  to  the  public  prosecutor,  there  does  not 
•appear  to  be  a  specific  time  limit  within  which  a  suspect  must 
be  brought  to  trial. 

The  deterioration  of  the  security  situation  has  exacerbated 
the  general  decline  in  judicial  safeguards  and  due  process. 
The  PRA  has  established  regional  military  councils  throughout 
much  of  Angola.   They  are  responsible  directly  to  President 
Dos  Santos  and  have  broad  authority  to  restrict  the  movement 
of  people  and  goods,  to  requisition  people  and  goods  without 
compensation,  and  to  try  crimes  against  "state  security."   The 
MPLA  has  also  created  "People's  vigilance  Brigades"  for  urban 
areas,  whose  powers  are  not  clear  but  which  include  general 
administration  and  "protecting  the  people  and  ensuring  public 
order  and  stability." 

Press  accounts  alleged  that  UNITA  had  detained  or  executed 
Pedro  "Tito"  Chingunji,  a  former  UNITA  representative  in  the 
United  States,  at  the  beginning  of  the  year.   Chingunji  was 
later  seen  alive  and  apparently  well  in  Jamba,  UNITA's 
headquarters  in  southeastern  Angola. 

The  number  of  political  detainees  and  prisoners  held  by  the 
PRA  at  the  end  of  1989  was  not  known.   However,  the  PRA 
claimed  to  have  released  700  political  prisoners  during  the 
first  6  months  of  the  year.   If  this  figure  is  correct,  it 
appears  that  the  MPLA  has  been  holding  many  more  regime 
opponents  than  previously  believed. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 


ANGOLA 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Although  the  PRA  Constitution  provides  for  an  independent 
judiciary,  in  practice  the  judiciary  follows  MPLA  party 
guidelines.   The  Constitution  also  states  that  no  citizen 
shall  be  arrested  and  brought  to  trial  except  under  the  terms 
of  the  law,  which  includes  a  public  trial  and  the  right  of  the 
accused  to  legal  counsel.   There  is,  however,  insufficient 
information  to  determine  if,  or  to  what  extent,  these  rights 
are  observed  in  practice  in  regular  criminal  and  civil  cases. 

In  the  past,  AI  has  expressed  concern  that  trials  of  political 
opponents  of  the  PRA,  notably  in  military  tribunals,  do  not 
conform  to  internationally  recognized  standards.   AI ' s  1989 
report  notes  that  20  defendants  convicted  in  1988  for  ties  to 
UNITA  were  not  given  adequate  opportunity  to  present  their 
defense  or  to  appeal  their  cases.   AI  also  reported  the  1989 
conviction  of  two  military  pilots  on  espionage  charges.   They 
were  sentenced  to  death  and  not  permitted  to  appeal. 

Judicial  lines  of  authority  are  unclear,  especially  since  the 
PRA's  regional  military  councils  have  been  given 
responsibility  for  the  trial  of  offenses  against  "state 
security,"  including  "economic  crimes."   It  is  not  known  which 
trials  are  open  to  the  public  and  under  what  rules  of 
procedure  the  various  military  and  civilian  courts  operate. 
The  PRA  Constitution  also  provides  for  a  People's  Supreme 
Court,  but  no  information  is  available  about  its  jurisdiction. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Although  the  Constitution  provides  for  the  inviolability  of 
the  home  and  privacy  of  correspondence,  the  PRA  conducts 
arbitrary  searches  of  homes,  censors  private  correspondence, 
and  monitors  private  communications. 

g.  Use  of  Excessive  Force  and  Violations  of  Humanitarian 
Law  in  Internal  Conflicts 

The  resumption  of  the  conflict  in  August,  after  the  breakdown 
of  the  June  cease-fire,  led  to  some  of  the  most  violent 
fighting  in  1989.   Displaced  persons  interviewed  in  UNITA 
territory  have  stated  that  FAPLA  forces  capture  escaping 
civilians,  particularly  children,  and  send  them  to  special 
camps  within  PRA  territory  or  to  Communist  countries  such  as 
Cuba  and  East  Germany  for  "reeducation." 

New  York  Times  reporter  Kenneth  Noble  visited  Samba  Caju  (180 
miles  east  of  Luanda)  as  part  of  a  group  of  reporters  taken  to 
the  town  by  PRA  authorities.   There  he  conducted  interviews 
with  townspeople  under  PRA  auspices.   He  wrote  that  UNITA 
soldiers  invaded  the  town  on  September  17,  1989,  shooting 
civilians  (at  least  15  were  killed  and  40  wounded)  and 
destroying  shops,  houses,  and  a  medical  clinic. 

Africa  Watch  reports  that  some  of  the  refugees  interviewed  by 
its  representatives  stated  that  UNITA  captured  civilians, 
transported  them  to  UNITA  territory,  and  forced  them  to  farm. 

The  PRA  and  UNITA  have  accused  each  other  of  placing  land 
mines  in  footpaths  to  agricultural  fields  as  part  of  a 
strategy  to  deny  food  to  civilians  in  contested  areas. 
Thousands  of  civilians  have  lost  limbs  as  a  result  of  the 
widespread  use  of  land  mines.   According  to  the  Africa  Watch 


10 


ANGOLA 

study,  mines  placed  by  FAPLA  forces  accounted  for  most 
civilian  casualties  in  northern  Angola,  while  UNITA-placed 
mines  were  blamed  for  civilian  casualties  in  eastern  Angola. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  PRA  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  expression,  but 
the  Angolan  people  live  under  censorship,  intimidation,  and 
control  of  the  media.   Opposition  views  are  not  tolerated,  and 
critics  such  as  Bartolomeu  Dias  Fernandes,  who  was  accused  of 
"insulting  the  Head  of  State,"  have  been  sentenced  to  long 
prison  terms. 

Although  the  PRA  is  especially  sensitive  to  criticism  in  the 
foreign  press,  in  1986  it  began  to  allow  the  controlled  travel 
of  foreign  correspondents  to  Angola,  a  practice  which 
continued  in  1989.   The  circulation  of  Western  journals  and 
periodicals  in  PRA-controlled  Angola  is  tightly  restricted. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Although  the  PRA  Constitution  calls  for  freedom  of  assembly, 
it  is  denied  to  any  political  group  or  movement  other  than  the 
MPLA  or  its  associated  mass  organizations.   All  other 
political  movements  have  been  banned.   There  are  numerous 
unconfirmed  reports  of  arrests  of  people  who  voice  support  for 
opposition  movements  or  alternative  political  systems.   The 
People's  Vigilance  Brigades,  which  have  some  law  enforcement 
authority  in  urban  areas,  and  the  martial  law  climate 
throughout  the  country  tend  further  to  restrict  freedom  of 
assembly  and  association. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Although  the  PRA  Constitution  provides  for  the  inviolability 
of  freedom  of  conscience  and  belief  and  for  separation  of 
church  and  state,  the  PRA  authorities  publicly  emphasize  the 
importance  of  propagating  atheism  and  have  been  critical  of 
religious  activities.   Approximately  85  percent  of  the  Angolan 
population  is  either  Roman  Catholic  or  Protestant,  while  the 
remainder  practice  a  variety  of  animist  beliefs.   Systematic 
persecution  of  priests,  pastors,  and  catechists  and 
confiscation  of  Church  property  occurred  in  PRA-controlled 
areas  between  1975  and  1979,  but  since  then  the  PRA  has  eased 
its  antireligious  stance  and  has  not  moved  to  close  down 
officially  recognized  churches.   Church  services  are  held 
regularly,  and  there  is  wide  attendance. 

Foreign  and  Angolan  missionaries  are  allowed  to  carry  out 
their  normal  activities.   UNITA  respects  freedom  of  religion 
in  the  areas  it  controls  and  provides  limited  administrative 
support  to  both  Catholic  and  Protestant  churches.   In  the 
past,  UNITA  has  captured  foreign  missionaries  in  contested 
areas  and  released  them  unharmed  after  publicly  warning  them 
of  the  dangers  of  being  caught  in  the  combat  zone. 

The  PRA  refuses  to  recognize  smaller  religious  sects  that  it 
deems  subversive,  such  as  the  Jehovah's  Witnesses.  The  most 
recent  known  case  of  repression  concerns  the  Tocoist  Church, 
founded  in  Angola  in  1949,  which  has  a  syncretic  blend  of 


11 


ANGOLA 

Christian  beliefs  and  indigenous  religious  practices.   The 
Government  banned  the  Church  in  1977,  and,  in  early  1987, 
approximately  60  Tocoists  were  killed  in  a  confrontation  with 
irregular  units  of  the  MPLA  military  and  state  security 
forces.   Although  this  ban  was  lifted  in  1988,  there  were 
reports  of  more  arrests  of  members  in  that  year. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

As  a  result  of  the  fighting  and  the  widespread  use  of  land 
mines  by  both  sides,  travel  by  road  in  most  areas  of  Angola  is 
dangerous.   The  PRA  is  acutely  sensitive  about  security  and 
has  tightly  restricted  travel.   It  has  also  instituted  a  pass 
system  within  Angola,  and  foreigners  are  generally  prohibited 
from  traveling  outside  the  principal  cities.   UNITA  has 
publicly  warned  that  it  considers  all  of  Angola  to  be  a  war 
zone  and  that  it  cannot  guarantee  the  safety  of  persons 
traveling  there. 

Angolan  citizens  are  allowed  to  travel  abroad,  but  this  travel 
is  carefully  controlled  by  the  PRA's  restrictions  on  issuance 
of  passports  and  exit  visas  and  by  currency  restrictions. 
Emigration  is  restricted.   The  PRA  limits  travel  to  Angola 
through  a  selective  and  stringent  visa  policy. 

An  estimated  670,000  persons,  and  probably  a  greater 
proportion  of  the  Angolan  population  of  8  to  9  million,  have 
been  displaced  internally.   Africa  Watch  reports  that  the  PRA 
authorities  have  forcibly  displaced  thousands  of  civilians,  in 
part  to  deny  UNITA  a  social  base,  and  that  UNITA  has  captured 
thousands  of  civilians  and  forced  them  to  work  on  UNITA  farms. 

There  are  some  400,000  Angolan  refugees  resident  in 
neighboring  countries.   Approximately  300,000  Angolans  are 
still  refugees  in  Zaire,  and  an  estimated  94,000  are  in 
Zambia.   There  are  approximately  11,000  Zairian  refugees  or 
displaced  persons  in  Angola.   Namibian  refugees  have  been 
repatriated  as  a  result  of  the  New  York  accords,  which  also 
led  to  the  departure  of  a  large  contingent  of  South  African 
nationals  affiliated  with  the  African  National  Congress. 

By  the  end  of  September  1989,  approximately  2,100  Angolan 
refugees  were  repatriated  from  Zaire  to  the  PRA  and  nearly 
1,900  Zairian  refugees  returned  home  from  the  PRA.   This 
repatriation,  sponsored  by  the  United  Nations  High 
Commissioner  for  Refugees,  was  intended  to  return  5,000 
refugees  to  their  homes--2,500  from  each  country--by  late 
November  1989.   A  new  registration  for  other  refugees  wishing 
to  return  home  was  expected  to  begin  in  January  1990. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Angolans  do  not  have  the  right  to  change  their  government. 
Most  of  Angola  is  ruled  by  a  small  group  of  officials  within 
the  party  apparatus  of  the  ruling  MPLA.   The  PRA  Constitution 
provides  for  popular  participation  in  the  political  process, 
but  political  activity  is  limited  to  participation  in  the  MPLA 
or  in  one  of  its  controlled  and  sanctioned  organizations  such 
as  its  youth  wing,  the  Angolan  Women's  Organization,  or  the 
trade  union  movement.   Political  power  is  centered  in  the 
elite  membership  of  the  Politburo  and  the  somewhat  larger 
Central  Committee.   Party  membership  is  very  restricted,  with 
fewer  than  30,000  members. 


12 


ANGOLA 

The  PRA  Constitution  provides  for  a  popularly  elected  National 
People's  Assembly,  established  in  1981,  and  people's 
assemblies  at  the  provincial  and  local  level.   However, 
despite  recent  suggestions  from  President  Dos  Santos  that  the 
powers  and  membership  of  the  National  People's  Assembly  be 
broadened,  only  candidates  chosen  and  endorsed  by  the  MPLA 
have  been  elected.   Key  members  of  the  party  also  hold 
leadership  positions  in  the  provincial  and  local  assemblies. 
A  new  round  of  elections  is  planned  for  1990  under  the 
existing  restrictions,  but  depending  upon  progress  in  the 
negotiations  between  the  MPLA  and  UNITA,  this  may  be  subject 
to  change. 

Both  the  MPLA  and  UNITA  have  primarily  ethnic  bases  of 
support--the  MPLA  among  the  Mbundu,  and  UNITA  among  the 
Ovimbundu,  Ganguela,  and  Lunda-Chokwe .   The  National  Front  for 
the  Liberation  of  Angola  (FNLA)  has  its  base  among  the 
Bakongo,  but  the  FNLA  is  no  longer  a  major  force  in  Angolan 
politics  and  has  in  part  been  integrated  into  the  MPLA. 
Members  of  all  of  Angola's  ethnic  groups  and  religions 
participate  in  both  organizations,  some  at  high  levels  of  the 
party.   However,  non-Mbundu  groups  are  greatly 
underrepresented  in  the  small  group  within  the  ruling  PRA 
Central  Committee  and  Politburo.   Mesticos  (Angolans  of  mixed 
racial  background  numbering  only  about  1  percent  of  the 
population)  remain  the  most  highly  skilled  and  educated  group 
in  Angola  and  are  inf luential--politically,  culturally,  and 
economically--beyond  their  numbers  in  the  PRA. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  PRA  did  not  respond  to  AI ' s  1987  appeal  for  information 
concerning  numerous  political  detainees,  and  neither  the  PRA 
nor  UNITA  would  let  Africa  Watch  researchers  into  the  country 
in  1989  (Africa  Watch's  report  was  based  on  interviews  with  87 
Angolan  refugees  in  camps  in  Zaire  and  Zambia).   The  PRA  has 
allowed  the  International  Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  (ICRC), 
the  United  Nations  Children's  Fund,  and  Catholic  Relief 
Services  to  provide  food  assistance  in  areas  it  controls. 
UNITA  allows  the  ICRC,  Medicins  Sans  Frontieres,  and  Operation 
Handicapped  International  to  conduct  similar  operations  in 
areas  under  its  control.   Neither  the  PRA  nor  UNITA  have  yet 
responded  to  ICRC  requests  for  access  to  all  persons  arrested 
in  connection  with  internal  events  and  the  military  situation 
in  the  country. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Because  of  the  disturbed  situation  prevailing  in  most  of 
Angola,  there  is  little  information  available  on  the  existence 
or  extent  of  discrimination  on  the  basis  of  race,  sex, 
religion,  language,  or  social  status.   There  is  also  no 
information  available  on  the  extent  of  violence  against  women 
in  Angola.   Given  the  country's  500-year  colonial  legacy, 
Portuguese  is  the  official  language  of  Angola. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

Angolan  workers  do  not  have  the  right  to  form  independent 
trade  unions.   The  sole,  legally  recognized,  trade  union 


13 


ANGOLA 

organization  in  the  PRA  is  the  National  Union  of  Angolan 
Workers  (UNTA) ,  which  was  formed  in  the  late  1950 's  as  an 
appendage  of  the  MPLA  and  became  the  ruling  party's  official 
labor  wing  after  Angolan  independence  in  1975.   The 
preindependence  labor  centers  of  rival  liberation 
organizations  ceased  to  exist  soon  after  the  MPLA  took  control 
of  most  of  the  country.   The  monopoly  situation  of  the  UNTA  is 
ensured  by  the  statutory  basis  of  the  single-union  structure. 
In  addition,  the  activities  of  the  labor  central  and  its 
affiliates  are  tightly  controlled  by  the  MPLA.   Strikes  are 
illegal  and  considered  to  be  a  crime  against  "state  security." 

The  PRA  has  ratified  ILO  Conventions  87  and  98  regarding 
freedom  of  association  and  collective  bargaining.   The  UNTA  is 
affiliated  with  the  continent-wide  Organization  of  African 
Trade  Union  Unity  and  the  Communist-controlled  World 
Federation  of  Trade  Unions. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Workers  do  not  have  the  right  to  bargain  collectively.   The 
PRA,  through  its  Ministry  of  Labor  and  Social  Security, 
controls  the  process  of  setting  wages  and  benefits,  but  it 
coordinates  its  actions  with  UNTA  and  employers.   There  are  no 
export  processing  zones  in  Angola.   As  far  as  is  known,  labor 
legislation  is  applied  uniformly  throughout  the  PRA. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Existing  PRA  legislation  authorizes  compulsory  labor  for 
breaches  of  labor  discipline  and  participation  in  strikes.   On 
the  basis  of  this  legislation,  the  International  Labor 
Organization  (ILO)  in  1984  cited  the  PRA  for  being  in 
violation  of  ILO  Convention  105,  which  prohibits  forced 
labor.   Also,  in  1988  the  ILO  Committee  of  Experts  cited  the 
PRA  for  its  failure  to  bring  its  legislation  into  conformity 
with  ILO  Convention  105,  which  the  PRA  had  ratified  in  1976. 

During  1989,  both  the  PRA  and  UNITA  accused  each  other  of 
relying  on  forced  conscription  of  young  males  for  recruitment 
into  the  military  forces. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 
There  is  no  information  available  on  this  subject. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

There  is  also  no  information  available  on  this  subject. 


14 


PENIN 

The  People's  Republic  of  Benin  is  a  single-party  state  headed 
by  President  Mathieu  Kerekou,  who  came  to  power  in  a  military 
coup  in  1972.   In  1974  President  Kerekou  declared  Benin  to  be 
a  Marxist-Leninist  state  under  the  direction  of  a  single 
political  party,  the  People's  Revolutionary  Party  of  Benin. 
However,  on  December  7,  1989,  the  party's  Central  Committee, 
the  standing  committee  of  the  National  Revolutionary  Assembly, 
and  the  National  Executive  Council  (cabinet  ministers  plus  the 
six  provincial  governors),  under  the  chairmanship  of  the 
President,  announced  that  Marxism-Leninism  was  no  longer  the 
State's  official  ideology. 

Benin's  Armed  Forces  number  approximately  4,000  personnel.   In 
addition  to  the  regular  army,  there  are  small  navy,  air  force, 
and  militia  contingents.   The  army  is  the  main  internal 
security  force,  backed  by  the  paramilitary  gendarmerie, 
regular  police  units,  the  presidential  guard,  and  the 
Documentation  and  Information  Service,  the  Government's 
intelligence  agency. 

Benin's  unCerdeveloped  economy  is  largely  based  on  subsistence 
agriculture,  cotton  production,  regional  trade,  and  a  low 
level  of  offshore  oil  production.   In  June  the  Government 
signed  agreements  with  the  World  Bank  and  the  International 
Monetary  Fund  which  included  austerity  reforms,  e.g.,  reducing 
the  number  of  state  enterprises,  cutting  wasteful  fiscal 
expenditures,  deregulating  trade,  and  encouraging  private- 
sector  activity.   Benin's  small  modern  economy,  however, 
remained  depressed  in  1989  due  to  falling  world  prices  for 
local  exports,  relatively  high  debt  service  charges,  and 
widespread  unemployment. 

Human  rights  continued  to  be  circumscribed  in  1989.   In  the 
face  of  social  unrest  and  strikes  by  students,  teachers,  civil 
servants,  and  even  some  military  personnel  over  the 
deteriorating  economic  situation  and  alleged  corruption,  the 
Government  cracked  down  hard  on  demonstrators  in  January, 
February,  and  December  1989,  killing  one  worker  and  two 
youths,  including  a  12-year-old,  and  detaining  a  number  of 
persons.   On  August  29,  1989,  the  President  granted  a  general 
amnesty  and  clemency  to  133  political  detainees,  to  another  30 
persons  accused  of  coup-plotting,  and  to  29  persons  in  exile. 
He  also  stressed  the  importance  of  human  rights  by:   approving 
a  visit  from  an  Amnesty  International  (AI)  mission  in  April; 
authorizing  the  establishment  of  a  nongovernmental  National 
Commission  on  Human  Rights;  and  personally  visiting  the 
military  Camp  Guezo  Detention  Center  in  June  to  discuss  with 
security  officials  the  problem  of  arbitrary  detention.   Major 
human  rights  concerns  included  mistreatment  of  prisoners  and 
detainees,  arbitrary  detentions,  restrictions  on  freedoms  of 
speech,  press,  assembly,  and  the  right  of  citizens  to  change 
their  government. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  I   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  political  or  other  extrajudicial 
killings  in  Benin  in  1989,  but  the  Government's  use  of  lethal 
force  in  countering  public  disturbances  and  strikes  in  1989 


15 


BENIN 

led  to  the  deaths  by  gunfire  of  at  least  one  striking  factory 
worker  at  Save  in  January  and  two  young  demonstrators  in 
Cotonou  in  December. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  disappearances  in  1989. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  Beninese  penal  code  requires  that  prisoners  be  treated 
consistent  with  "prison  discipline  and  security." 
Mistreatment  of  prisoners  and  detainees  occurs.   Cases  of 
prison  death  from  torture  (primarily  beatings),  disease,  or 
poor  prison  conditions  were  reported  by  private  sources  and  by 
AI  in  its  1989  Report. 

There  were  credible  reports  that  two  prisoners  died  after 
having  been  tortured  in  1989.   Serge  Gnimadi,  a  21-year-old 
member  of  the  National  Union  of  High  School  Teachers,  was 
arrested  on  January  23  for  allegedly  engaging  in  vandalism  and 
other  activities  threatening  public  order  during  strikes  in 
Porto  Novo.   He  died  in  prison  at  the  end  of  February;  the 
Government  stated  tetanus  was  the  cause  of  death.   Luc 
Togbadja,  a  student  arrested  for  transporting  antigovernment 
tracts  on  March  3,  was  detained  at  Cotonou's  Camp  Guezo  until 
May  6.   He  was  then  moved  to  the  Petit  Palais,  a  security 
forces  installation,  and  reportedly  beaten  to  death  there. 
President  Kerekou  visited  Camp  Guezo  shortly  thereafter  to 
investigate  allegations  of  human  rights  abuses,  but  at  the  end 
of  1989  there  had  been  no  report  or  formal  investigation,  and 
no  disciplinary  action  had  been  taken  against  responsible 
persons . 

Prison  conditions  in  Benin  are  very  poor.   Sanitation  and 
medical  facilities  are  deficient,  and  the  prison  diet  is 
inadequate  unless  supplemented  by  food  from  friends  or 
relatives.   Much  public  attention  has  centered  on  conditions 
at  two  remote  detention  centers:   the  civil  prison  in  Segbana, 
where  there  had  been  protests  in  1988,  and  Sero  Kpera  military 
camp  in  Parakou.   The  amnesty  in  August  reportedly  eased 
significantly  the  overcrowding  in  several  prisons,  including 
Segbana,  where  members  of  the  Dahomey  Communist  Party  had  been 
detained. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

While  Benin's  legal  system  requires  judicial  review  of 
detention,  this  is  not  always  observed  in  political  cases. 
The  Constitution  states  that  no  citizen  may  be  arrested 
without  an  arrest  order  authorized  by  an  established  judicial 
body.   However,  there  is  no  time  limit  with  respect  to 
charging  a  defendant  or  bringing  the  accused  to  trial.   In 
practice,  persons  have  been  detained  incommunicado,  some  for 
extended  periods,  without  charge  and  without  recourse  to  legal 
assistance  or  judicial  hearing.   Outside  the  judicial  system, 
the  Government  has  used  an  administrative  body,  the  Permanent 
National  Commission  of  Inquiry,  to  question  political 
detainees  about  their  activities  and  to  decide  whether  they 
should  remain  in  custody. 

The  President  publicly  addressed  the  question  of  arbitrary 
arrest  and  detention  in  1989.  On  June  20,  he  visited  Camp 
Guezo  (Benin's  military  and  security  headquarters)  to  discuss 


16 


BENIN 

military  personnel  involvement  in  arbitrary  arrests. 
President  Kerekou  asked  security  officials  for  a  complete 
accounting  of  all  prisoners  being  held  at  the  camp  and  warned 
against  arbitrary  detention.   Kerekou  then  organized  a  June  22 
working  session  with  a  number  of  security  and  judiciary 
personnel  and  ordered  them  to  settle  quickly  all  proven  cases 
of  arbitrary  arrest.   By  year's  end,  this  was  accomplished. 
There  was  no  evidence  of  further  investigation  of,  or  actions 
taken  against,  security  officials. 

At  the  beginning  of  1989,  over  200  Beninese  were  believed 
detained  in  various  prisons  for  political  reasons.   During  the 
January-February  1989  strikes,  68  persons  were  arrested  for 
vandalism  or  otherwise  disturbing  public  order.   On  April  1, 
40  detainees  were  released  from  Camp  Sero  Kpera  in  Parakou. 
Among  these  was  Dr.  Afolabi  Biaou,  who  had  been  arrested  in 
1985  and  detained  since  then  without  charge.   Both  AI  and  the 
American  Association  for  the  Advancement  of  Science  had  made 
appeals  in  his  case.   An  unknown  number  of  persons  were  also 
arrested  during  antigovernment  demonstrations  in  early 
December.   Most  are  believed  to  have  been  released. 

The  August  amnesty  freed  133  political  detainees,  including 
several  whose  cases  had  been  noted  by  AI ,  the  International 
Human  Rights  Law  Group,  and  the  American  Association  for  the 
Advancement  of  Science.   They  included:   Anselme  Agbanoundo,  a 
geological  engineer  arrested  in  October  1985;  Thomas  Houedete, 
an  economist  and  professor  at  the  University  of  Benin, 
arrested  in  October  1985;  Didier  D'Almeida,  arrested  in 
November  1984;  Yako  Toko  Chabi,  in  detention  since  1985;  and 
Jonas  Gnimagnon,  Chairman  of  the  Committee  of  Wives  and 
Relatives  of  Prisoners  of  Conscience,  arrested  in  May  1989. 
The  Government  had  reportedly  suspected  these  persons  of  ties 
to  the  banned  Dahomey  Communist  Party. 

The  August  amnesty  also  freed  30  persons  suspected  of  coup 
plotting  in  1975  and  1977.   At  the  end  of  1989,  as  many  as  20 
others  remained  imprisoned  for  alleged  involvement  in  more 
recent  conspiracies  to  overthrow  the  Government.   One  group, 
allegedly  involved  in  a  March  1988  plot,  is  still  awaiting 
trial.   A  second  group,  implicated  in  a  Libyan-backed  plan  to 
overthrow  President  Kerekou,  was  tried  and  sentenced  in 
February  1989. 

There  was  no  use  of  forced  exile  in  Benin  as  a  means  of 
political  control  in  1989.   The  August  amnesty  also  included 
an  invitation  for  29  voluntary  exilees  to  return  to  Benin, 
although  it  is  not  confirmed  that  any  had  accepted  the  amnesty 
by  the  end  of  the  year. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Benin's  legal  system  is  based  on  French  civil  and  customary 
law.   In  recent  years,  a  civilian  court  system  organized  on 
provincial  and  national  levels  has  operated,  with  the  People's 
Central  Court  as  the  highest  regular  court  of  appeal.   In 
September  1988,  the  Government  held  elections  for  civilians  to 
sit  on  local  tribunals  for  the  first  time.   Defendants  have 
both  the  right  to  be  present  at  their  trial  and  the  right  to 
an  attorney  (at  public  expense,  if  needed). 

In  the  past,  the  Government  rarely  brought  security  cases  to 
the  trial  stage.   However,  in  1988  a  new  law  established  the 


17 


BENIN 

State  Security  Court,  and  in  1989,  as  noted  above,  a  number  of 
political  opponents  charged  with  involvement  in  a 
Libyan-backed  plot  were  tried  before  this  Court  in  an  open 
trial  and  sentenced  in  February.   Their  testimony,  including 
segments  critical  of  government  policy,  was  broadcast  on 
public  television. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Benin's  Constitution  provides  for  the  inviolability  of  the 
home  and  requires  a  warrant  from  a  judge  before  the  police  can 
enter  a  residence.   In  practice,  authorities  enter  homes 
without  a  warrant  in  suspected  security  cases.   Reports 
indicated  that  the  security  police  also  monitor  telephones  and 
the  mail  of  persons  suspected  of  antigovernment  activities. 

Section  2   Respect  For  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Public  expression  of  political  opinion  is  controlled,  and  open 
criticism  of  the  Government,  as  occurred  during  the  1989 
strikes  and  disturbances,  is  not  permitted.   However,  some 
negative  coverage  of  the  Government  and  its  policies  appeared 
in  the  independent  press  during  1989.   Most  Beninese  appear 
willing  to  discuss  politics  freely  in  private  or  in  small 
groups,  even  in  the  presence  of  foreigners. 

The  Government  owns  and  operates  the  local  radio  and 
television  stations  and  one  daily  newspaper.   The  Beninese 
media  also  includes  three  independent  private  newspapers  (La 
Gazette  du  Golfe,  Tam-Tam  Express,  and  La  Recade) ,  as  well  as 
La  Croix,  a  weekly  paper  published  by  the  Catholic  Church,  and 
Echo,  a  monthly  journal  of  opinion  circulated  throughout  West 
Africa.   The  official  media  generally  carry  those  stories  that 
are  approved  by,  or  serve  the  interests  of,  the  State. 

Private  newspapers  treat  controversial  political  issues  with 
circumspection,  but  many  articles  appeared  in  the  private 
press  in  1989  mildly  criticizing  President  Kerekou  and  the 
party  on  various  domestic  political  and  economic  issues. 
There  are  limits  to  such  criticism,  however,  as  in  March  the 
Government  arrested  and  briefly  held  Parfait  Agbele,  a 
journalist  with  the  Gazette  du  Golfe,  reportedly  after  he  had 
begun  research  for  a  story  on  Luc  Togbadja's  death.   In 
September  the  Government  confiscated  a  number  of  copies  of  the 
Gazette  after  it  had  published  a  controversial  opinion  poll  on 
the  Government,  and  in  October  it  suspended  the  paper  "until 
further  notice."   The  suspension  was  canceled  on  December  8 
but  with  the  caveat  that  future  editions  be  submitted  to  the 
Government  for  prior  censorship. 

There  is  normally  no  censorship  of  foreign  books  or  artistic 
works.   Foreign  periodicals  are  widely  displayed  on 
newsstands,  and  foreign  radio  broadcasts  are  readily  available 
to  much  of  the  population  through  shortwave  radio.   No  attempt 
is  made  to  interfere  with  foreign  radio  broadcasts. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

In  recent  years,  the  Government  has  permitted  the  formation  of 
a  number  of  nonpolitical ,  private,  social,  service,  and 
professional  organizations.   All  meetings  of  a  political 
nature,  however,  must  be  approved  by  the  State.   The 


18 


BENIN 

Government  used  gunfire  against  alleged  stone-throwers 
participating  in  antigovernment  demonstrations  in  1989. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Christianity,  Islam,  and  traditional  religions  all  coexist  in 
Benin,  and  adherence  to  a  particular  faith  does  not  confer  any 
special  status  or  benefit.   There  are  no  restrictions  on 
religious  ceremonies,  teachings,  or  foreign  clergy,  and 
religious  conversion  is  freely  permitted. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Domestic  movement  is  not  restricted.   Passport  and  exit 
permits  are  necessary  for  travel  outside  West  African 
countries  but  are  usually  not  difficult  to  obtain.   Emigration 
is  common;  many  Beninese  move  to  neighboring  countries  to  earn 
a  living  and  do  so  without  jeopardizing  their  citizenship. 
The  Government  encourages  the  repatriation  of  its  citizens 
living  abroad  but  with  only  limited  success  to  date. 

According  to  the  United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for 
Refugees,  there  were  869  identified  refugees  in  Benin  as  of 
August  1989,  808  of  whom  were  Chadians  who  had  fled  the 
fighting  in  their  country.   Although  some  settled  in  Benin, 
many  now  were  in  the  process  of  returning  to  Chad.   The 
Government  imposes  no  restriction  on  the  return  of  refugees. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  do  not  have  the  right  to  change  their  government 
through  democratic  means.   Political  leadership  is  exercised 
by  President  Kerekou  and  a  small  group  of  senior  officials, 
many  of  whom  are  military  officers.   The  Cabinet  and  Political 
Bureau  are  made  up  of  persons  from  a  variety  of  ethnic  groups 
and  geographic  areas.   The  People's  Revolutionary  Party,  the 
sole  recognized  political  party,  controls  the  selection  of 
candidates  for  the  National  Revolutionary  Assembly  and  local 
government  bodies.   While  party  membership  is  not  a  requisite 
for  holding  office  or  for  civil  service  employment,  it  can  be 
helpful  for  political  and  career  advancement.   The  National 
Revolutionary  Assembly  itself  rarely  takes  issue  with  policies 
formulated  by  the  President.   In  the  June  elections  for  the 
National  Revolutionary  Assembly  Beninese  citizens  voted  "yes" 
or  "no"  for  a  single  slate  of  candidates,  chosen  in  advance. 
There  were  reports  of  soldiers  intimidating  voters,  and  at  a 
number  of  polling  stations  the  principle  of  the  secret  ballot 
was  not  honored.   The  Assembly,  which  has  little  influence  on 
policymaking,  reelected  Kerekou  without  opposition  to  the 
Presidency  2  months  later. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

In  the  past,  the  Government  considered  any  attempt  to 
investigate  human  rights  practices  to  be  interference  in  its 
internal  affairs.   However,  1988-1989  saw  a  change  in  that 
policy.   In  1988  the  International  Committee  of  the  Red  Cross 


19 


SESIS. 

was  permitted  to  visit  Benin  and  investigate  prison 
conditions.   In  April  1989,  AI  representatives  visited  Benin 
to  discuss  the  organization's  concerns  on  a  number  of  human 
rights  issues. 

In  April  the  National  Revolutionary  Assembly  passed  a  law 
creating  the  Beninese  Commission  on  Human  Rights.   The 
Commission,  which  at  the  end  of  1989  was  still  in  the  process 
of  being  organized,  is  a  nongovernmental  entity  designed  to 
promote  human  rights  and  review  complaints  forwarded  by 
private  citizens.   It  will  be  comprised  of  45  members, 
including  lawyers,  representatives  of  nongovernmental 
organizations,  and  government  officials. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

There  is  no  evidence  that  discrimination  based  on  race,  sex, 
religion,  language,  or  social  status  exists  in  Benin. 

The  Constitution  states  that  women  are  by  law  the  equals  of 
men  in  the  political,  economic,  cultural,  and  social  spheres, 
and  the  Government  officially  encourages  opportunities  for 
women.   The  Constitution  also  notes  that  the  State  "protects 
the  family,  in  particular,  the  mother  and  child"  and  calls  for 
the  development  of  maternity  hospitals  and  childcare 
facilities.   Female  employees  have  the  right  to  paid  maternity 
leave,  although  the  actual  enjoyment  of  this  benefit  is 
limited  mostly  to  civil  servants,  teachers,  and  other 
professionals.   Beninese  women  play  a  major  role  in  the 
commercial  sector  as  well  as  in  small-scale  family  farming, 
but  they  have  not  traditionally  had  the  same  educational 
opportunities  as  men. 

Violence  against  women,  such  as  wife  beating,  has  been  given 
little  attention  by  the  Government.   Civil  penalties  may  be 
applied  in  cases  of  domestic  violence,  but  the  police  and 
courts  are  often  reluctant  to  intervene,  considering  such 
affairs  to  be  "family  matters."   The  Organization  of 
Revolutionary  Women  of  Benin  serves  to  transmit  government  and 
party  policy  on  such  issues  and  make  known  women's  views  to 
the  leadership. 

According  to  several  local  medical  practitioners,  the  practice 
of  female  circumcision  is  not  widespread  in  Benin.   However, 
published  reports  in  the  United  States  suggest  about  20 
percent  of  the  female  population  is  subject  to  this  practice, 
mostly  in  the  northern  part  of  the  country.   The  Government  is 
making  efforts  to  eradicate  this  practice  through  an  education 
campaign  conducted  by  government-employed  health  workers,  and 
there  are  signs  that  the  practice  is  diminishing,  especially 
in  urban  areas. 

Section  6  Workers  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

Benin's  Constitution  states  that  "union  activities  are 
guaranteed  to  workers,"  and  workers  are  free  to  join  the  union 
of  their  choosing.   However,  the  National  Workers'  Union  of 
Benin  (UNSTB),  which  is  closely  linked  to  the  Government  and 
party  (the  President  of  the  National  Assembly  acts  as  head  of 
the  UNSTB),  is  the  only  legally  recognized  trade  union 
federation  in  the  country.   Approximately  75  percent  of  wage 
earners  belong  to  organized  labor  unions.   Civil  servants  are 


20 


BENIN 

obligated  to  join  the  UNSTB  as  a  condition  of  their 
employment.   In  August  Benin's  National  Union  of  High  School 
Teachers  declared  its  independence  from  the  UNSTB  and  2  weeks 
later  held  a  widely  publicized  and  cordial  meeting  with 
President  Kerekou. 

While  the  right  to  strike  is  not  explicitly  denied  or 
protected  in  the  Beninese  labor  code,  the  last  labor  strike 
prior  to  1989  occurred  in  1975  and  was  forcibly  suppressed  by 
the  Government  after  3  days.   However,  at  various  times  during 
1989  civil  service  employees  at  all  15  government  ministries, 
teachers,  and  professors  went  on  strike  for  nonpayment  of 
salary  arrears.   Given  such  broad  opposition,  the  Government 
did  not  interfere  with  the  strikes,  but  it  arrested  several 
persons  who  allegedly  engaged  in  vandalism  or  other  activities 
causing  public  disturbances  during  the  strikes.   Also,  during 
a  strike  by  workers  at  the  sugar  cane  factory  at  Save  in 
January  1989,  soldiers  reportedly  opened  fire  into  the  crowd 
in  an  attempt  to  restore  order,  killing  at  least  one  worker. 

The  UNSTB  is  affiliated  with  the  Organization  of  African  Trade 
Union  Unity  and  the  Communist-controlled  World  Federation  of 
Trade  Unions. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Collective  bargaining  is  provided  for  under  the  Beninese  labor 
code.   Individual  labor  unions  negotiate  with  employers  on 
labor  matters  and  represent  workers'  grievances  to  employers 
and  to  the  Government.   The  Government  often  acts  as  arbiter. 
Until  the  National  Union  of  High  School  Teachers  became 
independent  in  August,  all  labor  organizing  and  collective 
bargaining  took  place  under  the  umbrella  of  the 
government-controlled  UNSTB.   The  Beninese  labor  code 
prohibits  employers  from  taking  union  membership  or  activity 
into  account  when  making  decisions  on  hiring,  work 
distribution,  professional  or  vocational  training,  or 
dismissals.   Benin's  labor  laws  apply  throughout  the  country, 
including  in  the  export  processing  zone. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Forced  or  compulsory  labor  is  prohibited  under  Article  3  of 
the  Beninese  labor  code  and  is  not  practiced. 

d.  Minimum  Age  For  Employment  of  Children 

The  Beninese  labor  code  prohibits  the  employment  or 
apprenticeship  of  children  under  the  age  of  18  in  any 
enterprise.   However,  enforcement  is  erratic  at  best,  and 
child  labor  does  occur,  especially  in  the  subsistence  economy, 
where  children  below  the  age  of  14  often  work  on  family  farms. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Benin's  labor  force  of  1.9  million  (out  of  a  population  of  4.5 
million)  is  primarily  employed  in  agriculture  (80  percent), 
with  less  than  2  percent  of  the  population  involved  in  the 
industrial  (wage)  sector.   For  the  wage  sector,  the  Beninese 
labor  code  establishes  a  40-hour  workweek  and  sets  a  minimum 
wage  of  approximately  $40  per  month.   In  many  instances, 
however,  the  Government's  ability  to  enforce  labor  laws  and 
regulations  in  the  wage  sector  is  limited  by  a  shortage  of 
administrative  and  financial  resources  and  a  difficult 


21 


BENIH 

economic  environment  in  which  unemployment  is  high.   The 
minimum  wage  level  normally  provides  for  a  degree  of  food  and 
housing  for  a  family,  but  in  order  to  provide  a  decent  living 
it  usually  has  to  be  supplemented  by  other  means,  such  as 
subsistence  farming. 

The  Government  has  given  vigorous  support  to  policies  designed 
to  improve  the  conditions  of  workers  in  both  the  agricultural 
and  industrial  sectors.   It  has,  for  example,  committed  itself 
to  the  provision  of  free  or  low-cost  medical  care  and  social 
services  and  set  occupational  safety  standards.   The  labor 
code  sets  stringent  health  and  safety  standards,  but  again  the 
resources  needed  to  enforce  these  regulations  are  limited. 


22 


BOTSWANA 


Botswana  is  a  multiparty  democracy.   The  Constitution  vests 
executive  power  in  the  President,  currently  Quett  K.  J. 
Masire,  who  was  elected  in  1984.   The  President  selects  the 
Cabinet  from  the  38-member  unicameral  National  Assembly. 
While  there  are  several  political  parties  in  Botswana,  in 
practice  the  country's  politics  are  dominated  by  the  ruling 
Botswana  Democratic  Party  (BDP),  which  has  held  a  large 
parliamentary  majority  since  independence  in  1966.   All 
citizens,  including  whites,  are  free  to  participate  fully  in 
the  economic  and  political  life  of  Botswana. 

Botswana's  small  army,  the  Botswana  Defense  Force  (BDF), 
consists  of  6,200  soldiers.   The  national  police  force  numbers 
about  2,900.   Both  the  BDF  and  the  police  are  subordinate  to 
civilian  authority.   The  army  is  still  being  expanded  to  help 
resist  incursions  by  the  South  African  Defense  Force  (SADF) 
against  suspected  ANC  (African  National  Congress)  targets  in 
Botswana.   There  were  no  cross-border  raids  by  South  African 
defense  forces  in  1989.   However,  there  were  continued  bomb 
threats  and  minor  explosions  (believed  by  local  observers  to 
be  engineered  by  South  Africa)  which  reinforced  Botswana's 
security  worries. 

Botswana  has  a  mixed  economy  and  strongly  encourages  private 
enterprise.   Fueled  by  the  development  of  mineral  resources, 
especially  diamonds,  the  country's  economy  has  grown  at  a 
rapid  rate,  with  real  growth  in  gross  domestic  product  (GDP) 
averaging  11  percent  since  1979.   Since  independence  in  1966, 
per  capita  GDP  has  increased  from  $69  to  approximately  $1,500 
in  1988.   However,  some  75  percent  of  Botswana's  population 
lives  in  rural  areas  and  remains  partially  dependent  for  its 
livelihood  on  subsistence  farming  and  animal  husbandry. 

Botswana's  human  rights  record  remained  good  in  most 
respects.   The  legal  rights  of  citizens  are  provided  for  by 
law  and  respected  in  practice.   Political  violence  is 
virtually  unknown,  and  there  is  a  wide  range  of  public 
expression.   However,  violence  against  women  is  a  persistent 
problem  in  a  male-dominated  society,  and  mistreatment  of 
detainees,  though  not  condoned  by  the  Government,  persists. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  no  reported  killings  instigated  either  by  the 
Government  or  opposition  groups.   Unlike  previous  years,  there 
were  no  casualties  from  alleged  South  African  incursions 
against  suspected  ANC  targets  in  1989. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  disappearances 
in  1989. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  are  continuing  reports  of  police  improperly  treating 
persons  in  custody.   Some  lawyers  report  that  the  police  often 
beat  up  suspects  and  detainees,  although  the  practice  is  not 


23 


universal  or  condoned  by  political  leaders  or  government 
officials.   Penalties  for  police  abuses  can  range  from 
internal  police  disciplinary  action  to  regular  criminal 
prosecution,  as  in  a  recent  case  where  a  constable  was 
prosecuted  for  unlawful  wounding  of  a  suspect.   Police  may 
also  be  sued  in  civil  court  if  they  abuse  arrestees. 

Flogging  is  commonly  used  as  a  sentence  for  men  for  a  variety 
of  offenses,  including  violation  of  prison  rules,  rape,  armed 
robbery,  burglary,  and  related  offenses. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Citizens  are  protected  from  arbitrary  arrest  under  the 
Constitution.   After  an  arrest,  a  suspect  must  be  charged 
before  a  magistrate  within  48  hours.   Once  a  suspect  has 
appeared  before  a  magistrate,  he  can  be  detained  only  if  the 
magistrate  issues  a  writ  of  detention,  which  is  valid  for  14 
days.   The  detention  writ  must  be  renewed  every  14  days 
thereafter.   There  are  complaints  that  police  and  rangers  from 
the  Department  of  Wildlife  sometimes  hold  people  longer  than 
the  prescribed  48  hours,  but  it  is  not  a  general  practice  and 
offending  officers  are  punished  or  sued  successfully  in  civil 
actions.   Persons  charged  under  the  National  Security  Act  must 
be  arraigned  before  a  magistrate  within  96  hours.   Under  this 
Act,  suspects,  once  arraigned,  may  be  held  indefinitely,  but 
this  Act  has  rarely  been  invoked  in  practice.   There  are  no 
reported  abuses  of  these  detention  procedures.   There  is  a 
functioning  system  of  bail,  and   arrestees  have  access  to 
attorneys  of  their  choice,  although  there  is  no  functioning 
system  of  public  defenders  for  those  unable  to  afford  a  lawyer. 

There  is  no  practice  of  incommunicado  detention  in  Botswana. 
However,  Botswana  does  not  promptly  or  automatically  notify 
embassies  when  foreign  citizens  are  detained  or  arrested. 

The  Constitution  allows  the  President  to  declare  a  person  a 
prohibited  immigrant  and  deport  him  from. the  country.   No 
explanation  is  required,  nor  is  any  normally  given,  and  the 
order  is  not  subject  to  judicial  review.   A  prohibited 
immigrant  can  reenter  Botswana  only  with  the  permission  of  the 
President  or  his  designated  representative.   In  1989  one 
person,  a  British  journalist,  was  deported  under  this 
provision,  reportedly  for  maintaining  a  relationship  with 
African  National  Congress  supporters. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Botswana's  judiciary  is  independent  of  the  executive  and 

legislative  branches  of  government  in  both  law  and  actual 

practice.  Botswana  has  two  court  systems,  the  regular  courts 
and  the  customary  (traditional)  courts. 

In  the  regular  courts,  the  defendant's  rights  to  due  process 
are  guaranteed  by  law  and  largely  honored  in  practice.   Trials 
are  held  in  public,  and  court  records  are  public.   Trials 
under  the  National  Security  Act  (NSA)  may  be  held  in  camera, 
but  no  trials  took  place  in  1989  under  the  NSA.   Defendants 
have  the  right  to  be  represented  by  an  attorney,  but  the 
courts  as  a  rule  only  appoint  public  defenders  for  those 
charged  with  capital  crimes  (murder  and  treason) ;  the  lawyers 
in  these  cases  serve  on  a  pro  bono  basis.   Thus,  those  charged 
with  noncapital  crimes  are  often  tried  without  legal 


24-900  O— 90- 


24 


BOTSWANA 

representation  if  they  cannot  afford  an  attorney.   Defendants 
can  confront  witnesses  and  present  evidence.   While  the  burden 
of  proving  guilt  lies  with  the  prosecution  in  ordinary 
criminal  cases,  some  provisions  of  the  National  Security  Act 
appear  to  shift  the  burden  of  proof  to  the  accused.   However, 
these  provisions  have  yet  to  be  tested  because  the  Government 
has  not  yet  brought  charges  under  the  National  Security  Act. 

The  customary  courts  usually  handle  land,  marital,  and 
property  disputes  as  well  as  minor  crimes.   There  are  clearly 
defined  appeal  procedures  and  appeal  courts  in  both  systems, 
with  the  possibility  of  appeals  to  the  highest  court  in 
Botswana,  the  High  Court.   Customary  courts  are  open  only  to 
members  of  a  tribe.   The  chief  presides  over  the  court,  and 
there  are  no  attorneys  for  either  side. 

There  were  no  political  prisoners  in  Botswana  at  the  end  of 
1989.   Two  South  African  commandos,  who  were  convicted  of 
treason  in  October  1988  for  their  participation  in  a  bloody 
commando  raid  inside  Botswana,  remained  in  prison. 
(Botswana's  law,  which  is  based  on  Roman-Dutch  law,  allows 
even  noncitizens  to  be  charged  with  treason.)   The  High  Court 
turned  down  the  commandos'  appeal  in  July  1989,  although  it 
did  set  aside  the  sentence  of  corporal  punishment. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

These  rights  are  safeguarded  by  law  and  respected  in 
practice.   A  search  warrant  issued  by  a  magistrate  is  required 
for  an  official  to  enter  a  private  residence,  except  in  cases 
of  suspected  diamond  theft,  drug  trafficking,  or  national 
security  matters.   There  were  no  reported  instances  where  this 
exceptional  authority  was  exercised  in  1989. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press: 

Freedom  of  speech  and  press  are  provided  for  in  the 
Constitution  and  are  respected  in  practice.   Opposition 
viewpoints  and  criticism  of  the  Government  are  freely 
expressed,  as  was  evident  during  the  campaigning  for  the 
October  parliamentary  elections.   In  two  instances  the  police 
videotaped  political  rallies,  but  a  public  outcry  forced  them 
to  cease  this  practice. 

Although  the  Botswana  Press  Agency  (BOPA)  is  part  of  the 
Department  of  Information  and  Broadcasting,  it  functions  with 
a  great  deal  of  autonomy,  and  its  editorials  do  not  always 
reflect  the  Government's  view.   However,  both  the  Government 
and  the  independent  press  follow  unwritten  rules  against 
criticizing  senior  officials  directly  or  discussing  the 
personal  lives  or  financial  affairs  of  important  figures. 
Morever,  one  independent  newspaper  which  printed  a  story 
critical  of  the  Government  soon  found  few  advertisers  and 
attributed  this  action  to  government  pressure.   In  addition, 
access  to  government  officials  is  difficult  for  the 
independent  press  as  civil  servants  reportedly  prefer  the 
"tame"  reporters  from  BOPA. 

There  is  an  ongoing  debate  on  the  proper  coverage  of  national 
security  issues,  which  has,  in  the  past,  brought  the 
independent  press  under  strong  government  criticism. 
Controversy  arose  in  1988  when  the  Government  barred  reporters 


25 


BOTSWANA 

and  seized  their  notes  during  the  court-martial  trial  of  a 
Botswana  Defense  Force  (BDF)  corporal,  claiming  "national 
security"  would  be  compromised  by  coverage  of  the  trial.   The 
press  insisted  that  the  Government  was  using  "national 
security"  to  mask  politically  embarrassing  facts. 

Books  and  publications  are  not  censored.   Academic  freedom  is 
respected. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Botswana  has  a  long  history  of  peaceful  assembly  which  is 
integral  to  their  traditional  village  life  and  is  exemplified 
in  the  village  meeting,  the  kgotla.   During  kgotla  meetings, 
people  freely  question  leaders  and  voice  opinions  on  local 
politics.   Permits  are  required  for  public  meetings  and 
demonstrations  and  are  usually  granted  as  long  as  the  police 
believe  public  order  will  be  maintained. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Freedom  of  religion  is  practiced  and  encouraged.   There  is  no 
state  religion  in  Botswana,  although  the  majority  of  the 
population  claim  a  denomination  of  Christianity  as  their 
belief.   Active  groups  of  Hindus,  Muslims,  Baha'is,  and  others 
practice  their  faiths  freely.   There  are  no  restrictions  on 
religious  groups,  their  places  of  worship,  the  training  of 
members  of  clergy,  religious  publishing,  religious  education, 
conversion,  or  participation  in  charitable  activity. 
Missionaries  are  allowed  to  enter  the  country  and  proselytize, 
and  foreign  clergy  can  enter  and  serve  expatriate 
congregations.   There  is  no  discrimination  based  on  religion. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Citizens  of  Botswana  are  not  restricted  in  their  movements 
within  the  country,  in  their  foreign  travel,  emigration,  or 
their  right  to  return.   Passports  are  easily  obtained. 
Refugees  documented  by  the  United  Nations  High  Commissioner 
for  Refugees  (UNHCR)  are  readily  accepted  into  Botswana, 
although  they  are  required  to  live  in  the  refugee  settlement 
at  Dukwe.   Refugees  may  be  authorized  to  live  elsewhere  for 
documented  reasons.   Due  to  allegations  from  neighboring 
countries  that  refugees  are  using  Botswana  as  a  launching  area 
for  operations  against  their  home  countries,  Botswana  has 
declared  that  Dukwe  refugees  found  off  the  settlement  without 
permission  will  have  abandoned  refugee  status  and  will  be 
repatriated. 

Although  the  Government  revoked  the  refugee  status  of 
Zimbabweans  remaining  in  Botswana  in  July  1989,  the 
Government,  in  cooperation  with  the  UNHCR,  has  been  remarkably 
understanding  regarding  their  plight.   The  Government  has 
given  special  consideration  to  integrating  selected  persons, 
including  students  and  employed  workers. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  have  the  right  peacefully  to  change  their  government 
through  democratic  means,  although  in  practice  one  party,  the 


26 


BOTSWANA 

BDP,  has  dominated  Parliament  since  independence.   The 
President  and  Members  of  Parliament  are  elected  by  universal 
suffrage  and  secret  ballot.   Thirty-four  of  the  38  members  of 
the  National  Assembly  are  elected  every  5  years;  the  remaining 
4  are  appointed  by  the  President.   Following  the  October 
elections,  the  BDP  holds  28  of  the  34  elective  seats  in  the 
National  Assembly.   At  present  there  are  eight  political 
parties.   Two  of  the  parties  were  established  just  prior  to 
the  deadline  for  registering  parties  for  the  October 
elections.   At  the  end  of  1989,  three  of  the  parties  were 
represented  in  Parliament. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

There  were  no  international  investigations  of  human  rights  in 
Botswana  in  1989,  and  the  Government  continued  to  permit 
international  organizations  involved  in  humanitarian  affairs 
to  operate  in  the  country.   In  general,  the  Government  rarely 
comments  on  human  rights  violations  in  other  countries  though 
it  frequently  denounces  South  Africa's  apartheid. 

There  are  no  active  human  rights  organizations  in  Botswana 
which  focus  specifically  on  domestic  issues,  but  a 
national-level,  nongovernmental  human  rights  watch  group,  the 
Botswana  Association  for  Human  Rights,  was  in  the  process  of 
organization  at  the  end  of  1989.   The  goals  of  the  Association 
are  to  focus  national  attention  on  those  laws  which  need  to  be 
amended,  to  make  recommendations  to  the  national  law  reform 
committee,  to  heighten  public  awareness  about  human  rights, 
and  to  pressure  the  Government  to  ratify  more  of  the  existing 
international  instruments  on  human  rights. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  Tswana  majority  comprises  an  estimated  95  percent  of  the 
population.   Although  ethnic  differences  are  not  entirely 
absent,  no  ethnic  or  other  group  suffers  from  serious 
discrimination.   Groups  that  live  in  remote  areas,  including 
the  Kgalagadi  and  the  San  (formerly  called  bushmen) ,  are 
becoming  increasingly  integrated  into  social  service  programs, 
but  still  lag  behind  the  rest  of  the  population  in  terms  of 
educational  and  economic  development  and  continue  to  be  poorly 
represented  in  the  political  arena. 

Women  make  up  53.9  percent  of  the  population,  and  almost  50 
percent  of  female  Batswana  are  heads  of  households. 
Political,  social,  and  economic  opportunities  for  women  are 
limited  by  a  series  of  laws,  and  women  have  no  legal  recourse 
to  challenge  sex  discrimination  cases. 

Women  married  under  either  common  law  or  customary  (tribal) 
law  are  subject  to  practices  in  which  wives  assume  a  legal 
status  equivalent  to  the  husband's  child.   Essentially,  this 
means  that  a  woman  cannot  make  a  legally  binding  agreement 
without  her  husband's  consent  or  assistance.   A  woman  can 
enter  a  binding  transaction  as  a  public  trader,  but  she  can 
become  a  trader  only  with  the  consent  of  her  husband.   Under 
customary  law  the  husband  is  permitted  to  have  other  wives 
after  consulting  with  the  first  wife  and  the  families. 
Deference  to  the  husband's  wishes  also  carries  over  into  the 
health  field  where  a  women  is  required  to  obtain  her  husband's 
permission  for  the  use  of  contraceptives  or  for  such  operations 


27 


BOTSWANA 

as  a  hysterectomy. 

Many  observers  believe  that  domestic  violence  is  common  in 
Botswana  and  is  increasing.   Under  customary  marital 
practices,  men  have  traditionally  held  the  right  to  physically 
"chastise"  their  wives,  although  this  attitude  is  gradually 
changing.   Because  marital  problems  are  considered  to  be  a 
problem  to  be  dealt  with  between  the  husband  and  the  wife,  the 
police  are  reluctant  to  intervene.   Frequently  problems  are 
settled  through  the  extended  families,  and  as  a  result,  few 
cases  of  domestic  violence  ever  come  before  the  courts.   The 
incidence  of  rape  is  also  increasing  in  Botswana.   The  maximum 
penalty  is  life  imprisonment  with  mandatory  corporal 
punishment;  the  average  sentence  is  4  years  with  corporal 
punishment.   A  form  of  female  circumcision  exists  in  Botswana, 
but  is  rarely  performed  and  only  by  traditional  doctors. 

The  Government  has  been  slow  to  introduce  reforms  to  improve 
the  status  of  women.   The  governing  party  only  established  a 
women's  wing  in  1987  to  focus  on  women's  issues.   There  has 
been,  since  1981,  in  the  Ministry  of  Home  Affairs,  a  women's 
affairs  unit,  which  iias  published  a  woman's  guide  to  the  law 
and  information  on  the  citizenship  law  and  undertaken  research 
on  maternity  leave  problems,  teenage  pregnancy,  and  various 
laws  affecting  women. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

Workers  are  free  to  establish  or  join  labor  unions. 
Government  workers  who  are  pensionable  may  not  join  unions, 
although  they  may  have  associations  that  function  as 
quasi-unions .   Unions  are  well  developed  in  the  mineral  sector 
and  also  among  railway  workers  and  bank  employees,  but  other 
sectors  are  less  well  organized  by  trade  unions.   There  is  one 
major  confederation  of  unions,  the  Botswana  Federation  of 
Trade  Unions  (BFTU) . 

Trade  unions  in  Botswana  are  independent  of  government  control 
or  party  affiliation,  and  they  actively  seek  to  represent  the 
interests  of  their  members.   However,  union  leadership  is 
severely  restricted  by  a  government  regulation  that  requires 
all  elected  union  officials  to  work  full  time  in  the  industry 
their  union  represents.   This  practice  has  been  criticized  by 
the  International  Confederation  of  Free  Trade  Unions  (ICFTU), 
which  has  also  noted  that  "the  dissolution  of  trade  union 
organizations  by  government  is  possible  under  the  law  at  all 
times.  " 

Botswana  also  severely  restricts  the  unions'  right  to  strike. 
Legal  strikes  are  theoretically  possible,  but  only  after  an 
exhaustive  arbitration  process,  so  that  there  has  never  been  a 
legal  strike  in  Botswana's  history.   However,  illegal  wildcat 
strikes  were  common  in  1989,  including  major  job  stoppages  by 
teachers  and  bank  employees.   Once  a  strike  has  been  declared 
illegal  by  the  Government,  management  has  the  right  to  dismiss 
employees,  and  strikers  can  be  jailed.   The  Government  has  yet 
to  employ  such  extreme  measures  against  strikers,  although  the 
Government  did  withhold  prestrike  pay  from  striking  teachers. 

Unions  may  freely  join  international  organizations  and  labor 
representatives  regularly  attend  international  conferences. 
BFTU  is  affiliated  with  the  ICFTU.   In  addition,  the  Botswana 
Mine  Workers  Union  belongs  to  a  regional  mine  workers'  union 


28 


BOTSWANA 

federation.   However,  unions  have  chafed  under  government 
regulations  which  prohibit  unions  from  receiving  financial 
contributions  from  outside  Botswana. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Although  employers  are  required  under  the  Trade  Union  Act  to 
bargain  with  any  trade  union  that  has  organized  at  least  25 
percent  of  the  work  force,  the  actual  frequency  of  collective 
bargaining  varies  depending  upon  the  organizing  strength  of 
the  union  in  a  particular  industry.   Collective  bargaining  is 
common  in  sectors  such  as  mining  and  railways  where  the  trade 
unions  are  relatively  strong,  but  virtually  nonexistent  in 
other  sectors.   Collective  bargaining  is  also  limited  by  the 
Government's  incomes  policy,  which  sets  public  sector  salaries 
as  a  benchmark  for  private  sector  wage  settlements. 

Although  there  are  laws  in  Botswana  which  prohibit  employers 
from  dismissing  workers  for  union  activities,  there  is  some 
dispute  as  to  how  well  they  are  enforced.   Other  reasons  are 
always  given  for  such  dismissals,  so  it  is  difficult  for  the 
dismissed  employee  to  prove  that  union  activities  were  the 
real  reason.   Dismissals  can  be  appealed  to  labor  officers  or 
the  civil  courts,  but  labor  officers  rarely  do  much  more  than 
order  2  months'  severance  pay,  and  most  workers  cannot  afford 
civil  litigation.   There  are  no  export  processing  zones  in 
Botswana.   Labor  laws  are  applied  uniformly  throughout  the 
country. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Forced  or  compulsory  labor  is  not  practiced  in  Botswana  and  is 
specifically  forbidden  in  the  Constitution. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

Botswana  law  prohibits  the  employment  of  children  under  12 
years  of  age  by  anyone  except  members  of  the  child's  immediate 
family.   No  juvenile  under  the  age  of  15  may  be  employed  in 
any  industry,  and  only  those  over  16  may  be  employed  in  night 
work.   No  person  16  or  younger  is  permitted  to  work  in 
hazardous  jobs,  including  mining.   Botswana  law  also  protects 
young  people  from  recruiters  for  jobs  outside  the  country. 
There  are  reports  that  some  scattered  violations  of  these 
standards  do  occur,  especially  in  small-scale  enterprises,  in 
large  part  because  the  Department  of  Labor  in  the  Ministry  of 
Labor  is  insufficiently  staffed  to  enforce  full  compliance. 
Although  education  is  not  yet  compulsory,  it  is  almost 
universally  available,  and  most  children  attend  school  at 
least  through  the  primary  grades.   The  Government  has 
indicated  it  hopes  to  make  9  years  of  education  compulsory  by 
1992. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Botswana  requires  a  minimum  wage  of  approximately  $80  per 
month.   The  minimum  wage  is  generally  enforced.   This  amount 
is  barely  adequate  for  one  person  to  maintain  a  decent 
standard  of  living,  and,  in  most  cases,  workers  must 
supplement  this  amount  through  other  means,  such  as 
subsistence  farming.  Most  Botswana  families  have  more  than  one 
wage  earner. 

Botswana  law  mandates  a  maximum  48-hour  workweek,  with 
provisions  for  overtime  pay  (time  and  a  half)  for  work  over  48 


29 


BOTSWANA 


hours.   Most  major  employers  adhere  to  the  workweek  laws,  but 
some  smaller  firms  refuse  to  pay  overtime,  and  no  action  is 
taken  against  them. 

The  Government  sets  job  health  and  safety  standards,  and  these 
regulations  appear  to  be  generally  observed,  although  the 
Department  of  Labor  lacks  personnel  to  ensure  enforcement 


30 


BURKINA  FASO 


Burkina  Faso  is  ruled  by  a  military  regime  headed  by  Captain 
Blaise  Compaore,  who  took  power  from  Thomas  Sankara  on  October 
15,  1987  in  the  country's  fourth  military  coup  since  1980. 
The  new  military  regime  continued  the  ban  on  political  parties 
and  activities  and  gave  no  indication  that  the  country  will 
return  to  constitutional  rule.   Instead,  President  Compaore 
moved  to  firm  up  a  narrow  political  base  by  forming  a  "popular 
front"  of  various  leftwing  and  centrist  groups,  military 
officers,  and  miscellaneous  civilians  to  assist  in  running  the 
Government.   He  has  also  formed  a  network  of  Revolutionary 
Committees  (CR's),  loosely  organized  at  national,  regional, 
and  local  levels,  to  mobilize  the  population  and  promote 
revolutionary  goals. 

The  Burkina  Faso  armed  forces  number  about  7,500  members, 
including  5,200  in  the  army,  100  in  the  air  force,  and  2,200 
in  the  paramilitary  gendarmerie  and  the  police.   All  police 
and  internal  security  forces  are  controlled  by  the  Ministry  of 
Defense. 

Burkina  Faso,  one  of  the  world's  poorer  countries,  is 
overwhelmingly  tied  to  subsistence  agriculture,  with  90 
percent  of  the  population  living  in  rural  areas.   Agriculture 
is,  however,  highly  vulnerable  to  fluctuations  in  rainfall. 
Frequent  drought,  lack  of  communications  and  other 
infrastructure,  a  low  literacy  rate,  and  a  stagnant  economy 
are  all  longstanding  problems.   The  country  has  a  per  capita 
income  of  about  $180  per  year. 

Human  rights  continued  to  be  circumscribed  in  1989.   Problem 
areas  were  extrajudicial  killings,  arbitrary  detentions, 
mistreatment  of  detainees,  and  restrictions  on  press,  speech, 
assembly,  and  the  right  of  citizens  to  change  their  government 
through  peaceful  means.   The  Government  did  allow  the 
establishment  of  a  local  human  rights  organization  (which 
intervened  in  some  specific  cases),  permitted  some  political 
groupings  to  form  and  distribute  pamphlets  discreetly,  and 
released  all  political  opponents  held  in  prison. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

Four  members  of  the  armed  forces  were  summarily  executed 
without  trial  in  September  1989  after  allegedly  plotting  a 
coup  d'etat.   The  four  were  Minister  of  Defense  Major 
Jean-Baptiste  Lengani,  Minister  of  Economic  Promotion  Captain 
Henri  Zongo,  the  officer  in  charge  of  the  communications  unit, 
Captain  Sabyamba  Koundaba,  and  an  unidentified  bodyguard  of 
the  Minister  of  Defense.   After  the  coup  attempt  of  Christmas 
1989,  the  Government  made  a  point  of  denying  rumors  that  7 
people  had  been  executed  and  said  all  arrestees  would  receive 
trials . 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  disappearance. 


31 


BURKINA  FASO 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Torture  and  mistreatment  of  detainees  have  been  persistent 
problems  for  a  number  of  years.   Amnesty  International 
published  a  special  report  in  1988,  "Burkina  Faso,  Political 
Imprisonment  and  the  Use  of  Torture  from  1983  to  1988,"  giving 
accounts  of  the  imprisonment  of  political  opponents  and 
torture  under  the  present  and  preceding  governments.   Police 
brutality  continued  in  1989,  although  there  were  fewer 
credible  reports,  usually  involving  severe  beatings,  often  at 
the  time  of  apprehension.   A  Catholic  Church-sponsored 
organization  has  alleged  that  the  police  and  gendarmerie  beat 
and  tortured  at  least  15  people  arrested  for  political  reasons 
in  1989.   The  Government  denied  that  anyone  has  been  tortured. 

Prison  conditions  are  poor,  with  most  prisons  holding  double 
their  design  capacity,  and  are  characterized  by  the  lack  of 
sufficient  food,  minimum  hygiene,  and  medical  support. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

There  were  continuing  reports  in  1989  of  arbitrary  arrest. 
The  law  permits  preventive  detention  without  charge  for  a 
maximum  of  72  hours,  renewable  for  a  single  72-hour  period  in 
criminal  cases.   In  practice,  there  are  frequent  violations  of 
this  restriction  in  cases  involving  both  Burkinabe  and  foreign 
nationals,  especially  in  political  cases.   Several 
schoolchildren,  for  example,  were  held  in  detention  without 
charge  for  a  number  of  months  in  1988.   In  addition,  in  cases 
of  emergency  or  national  security,  the  military  code,  which 
provides  for  indefinite  detention,  overrides  the  civil  code. 
Access  to  lawyers  is  not  normally  permitted  in  security  cases, 
although  it  is  provided  for  by  law. 

The  Government  detained  several  persons  for  political  reasons 
during  1989,  but  by  the  end  of  the  year  all  had  been  released, 
many  within  a  few  days  of  their  arrest.   Immediately  following 
the  discovery  of  the  alleged  coup  plot  on  September  18,  three 
or  four  government  officials  were  arrested  and  held  briefly 
for  questioning.   These  persons  were  later  released,  but  four 
others  were  summarily  executed  without  trial.   The  Government 
also  released  a  number  of  persons  detained  since  the  overthrow 
of  the  Sankara  government  in  1987,  including  former  Interior 
Minister  Ernest  Nongria  Ouedraogo.   In  this  connection,  23 
junior  military  personnel,  detained  at  various  times  since 
Sankara  "s  overthrow  on  s-uspicion  of  coup-plotting,  were 
released  August  4,  1989.   An  unknown  number  of  people  were 
arrested  as  a  result  of  a  coup  attempt  over  Christmas  1989. 
Numbers  rumored  range  from  5  to  30  prisoners,  including 
military  personnel.   They  were  still  being  held  at  year's  end, 
and  the  Government  had  provided  no  names  or  other  information, 
despite  requests. 

Some  intellectuals,  ex-military  officers,  and  former 
government  officials  remain  in  self-imposed  exile  abroad, 
partly  due  to  fear  for  their  safety  should  they  return. 
Captain  Boukary  Kabore,  leader  of  resistance  at  Koudougou 
airforce  base  against  Compoare's  coup  in  1987,  is  now  exiled 
in  Ghana.   He  charged  in  1989  that  the  popular  front 
Government  is  attempting  to  liquidate  all  remaining  Sankara 
loyalists.   The  Government  has  encouraged  opponents  of  the 
Sankara  regime  to  return  home,  but  few  have  done  so.   Kabore 
stated  in  an  interview  in  November  that  if  he  had  the  chance 
to  seize  power  in  Burkina,  he  would  do  so. 


32 


BURKINA  FASO 
With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  regular  judiciary,  patterned  after  the  French  system,  has 
continued  to  function  for  most  criminal  and  civil  cases. 
Defendants  traditionally  receive  a  fair  trial  and  are 
represented  by  counsel.   In  1987  the  Government  began  the 
practice  of  appointing  civil  service  attorneys  to  represent 
those  who  do  not  wish  to  retain,  or  are  unable  to  afford,  a 
private  attorney. 

The  people's  revolutionary  courts  begun  under  Sankara 
continued  to  hear  cases  primarily  involving  public 
corruption.   The  president  of  each  people's  court  is  a 
magistrate  appointed  by  the  Government  to  head  a  tribunal 
composed  of  magistrates,  military  personnel,  and  members  of 
the  CR's.   The  court  president  asks  questions  directly  of  the 
defendant . 

In  December  1988,  seven  soldiers  were  convicted  by  a  military 
court  in  Bobo  Dioulasso.   The  trial  was  held  in  secret,  and 
the  seven  were  executed  the  day  after  conviction  without  an 
opportunity  to  appeal.   In  the  1989  case  of  the  four  persons 
summarily  executed,  there  was  no  known  trial. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Government  authorities  generally  do  not  interfere  in  the  daily 
lives  of  ordinary  citizens,  and  there  is  no  general  monitoring 
of  private  correspondence  or  telephones.   Under  the  law,  homes 
may  be  searched  only  under  authority  of  a  warrant  issued  by 
the  attorney  general.   An  exception  exists,  however,  in 
national  security  cases,  where  a  special  law  permits 
surveillance,  searches,  and  monitoring  of  telephones  and 
correspondence  without  a  warrant.   This  law  is  used  against 
persons  suspected  of  opposition  to  the  Government. 

The  Government  encourages  participation  in  the  CR's  and  also 
in  organizations  being  formed  to  support  the  Popular  Front. 
However,  it  was  still  not  clear  in  1989  if  lack  of 
participation  will  result  in  dismissals  from  civil  service 
positions,  as  was  the  case  in  previous  regimes. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

While  there  is  no  formal  government  censorship,  the  Government 
employs  intimidating  methods  to  limit  freedom  of  speech  and 
press.   For  example,  repeated  references  by  the  regime  to 
enemies  of  the  State  at  home  and  abroad  inhibit  both 
government-employed  journalists  and  ordinary  citizens  from 
expressing  critical  views.   Similarly,  it  uses  occasional 
dismissals  from  government  service  and  arbitrary  arrest  to 
quash  debate  on  political  topics.   In  1989  several  persons 
were  arrested  and  held  briefly  for  distributing  political 
leaflets . 

Under  the  control  of  the  Minister  of  Information,  the  media, 
which  consists  of  a  daily  newspaper,  a  weekly  magazine,  a 
monthly  magazine,  and  radio  and  television  stations,  are  all 
government  owned,  and  all  journalists  are  civil  servants.   The 
media  do  not  engage  in  serious  criticism  of  the  Government  and 


33 


BURKINA  FASO 

reflects  government  positions  on  both  international  and 
national  issues.   Journalists  who  try  to  report  stories 
without  political  bias  may  be  replaced  for  failing  to  support 
sufficiently  the  political  views  of  the  Government.   In  1989  a 
private  newspaper,  L 'Observateur ,  attempted  to  publish  its 
first  edition  since  it  was  burned  down  in  1984.   The 
Government  quickly  cut  off  the  electricity  and  stationed 
police  at  the  doors,  ostensibly  because  the  newspaper  did  not 
have  the  proper  permits.   It  subsequently  made  it  clear  that 
no  permit  will  be  granted.   A  small,  private  all-music  radio 
station  authorized  to  broadcast  in  the  last  days  of  the 
Sankara  administration  remains  closed  as  well,  after  being 
shut  down  in  the  first  days  of  the  Compaore  Government. 

A  new  information  code  has  been  pending  for  more  than  a  year. 
A  number  of  proposed  provisions  involve  insuring  government 
control  of  any  means  of  communication,  publicly  or  privately 
owned,  and  government  licensing  of  journalists.   It  would  also 
institute  prison  terms  or  fines  for  violation  of  the  code. 

Foreign  newspapers  and  magazines  entered  the  country  freely 
during  1989.   For  the  most  part,  foreign  journalists  traveled 
freely  and  filed  stories  without  censorship  and  enjoyed  access 
to  government  officials.   Films  are  subject  to  censorship  by  a 
review  board  which  includes  religious  authorities  as  well  as 
government  officials.   There  were  no  known  instances  of 
political  censorship  of  movies.   There  is  no  interference  with 
international  radio  broadcasts. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Under  both  the  Sankara  and  Compaore  Governments,  political 
parties  as  such  have  been  banned,  and  administrative 
permission  is  generally  required  for  assemblies  of  any  kind. 
However,  in  1989  the  Government  permitted  several  small 
political  groupings  to  meet  more  or  less  openly,  with  the  more 
centrist  groups  invited  to  join  the  Government's  popular 
front.   Nonpolitical  associations  for  business,  religious, 
cultural,  and  other  purposes  exist  and  experience  no 
difficulty  in  obtaining  permission  to  meet  or  in  associating 
with  international  bodies  in  their  fields. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Burkina  Faso  is  a  secular  state,  and  there  is  no  official 
discrimination  on  religious  grounds.   Islam  and  Christianity 
exist  side  by  side,  with  about  40  percent  of  the  population 
Muslim  and  about  15  percent  Christian.   The  remainder  of  the 
population  practices  traditional  African  religions.   Muslim 
and  Christian  holidays  are  recognized  as  national  holidays. 
Social  mobility  and  access  to  modern  sector  jobs  are  neither 
linked  to,  nor  restricted  by,  religious  affiliations. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Travelers  within  Burkina  Faso  are  routinely  stopped  at  police 
and  military  checkpoints.   There  appears  to  be  little 
restriction  on  foreign  travel  for  business  and  tourism.   Exit 
permits,  once  used  to  limit  movements  of  workers  to 
neighboring  countries,  particularly  to  Cote  d'lvoire  where  2 
million  or  more  Burkinabe  continue  to  reside  and  work,  are  no 
longer  required. 


I 


34 


BURKINA  FASO 

Refugees  are  accepted  freely  in  Burkina  Faso,  and  attempts  are 
made  to  provide  for  their  care  in  cooperation  with  the  United 
Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees.   There  were 
approximately  270  refugees  and  displaced  persons  in  Burkina 
Faso  at  the  end  of  1989,  mainly  from  Chad. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  do  not  have  the  right  to  change  their  government 
through  democratic  procedures.   The  military  have  dominated 
the  political  process  since  1980  through  four  changes  in 
leadership.   To  bolster  his  popular  front.  President  Compaore 
has  taken  some  steps  to  create  an  opening  to  small 
conservative  and  centrist  political  forces,  but  he  has  not 
publicly  indicated  any  movement  toward  a  constitution, 
national  elections,  or  political  parties  in  the  future.   He 
relies  on  an  amorphous  grouping  of  people,  including  military 
officers,  to  help  run  the  Government  and  has  a  loose  network 
of  Revolutionary  Committees  throughout  the  country  to  mobilize 
support . 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

There  were  no  known  international  investigations  of  Burkina  in 
1989.   A  new,  local  human  rights  organization,  the  Burkina 
Movement  for  Human  Rights  and  Rights  of  Peoples  (MBDHP) ,  was 
formed,  led  publicly  by  the  President,  Administrative  Chamber 
of  the  Superior  Court.   While  the  MBDHP  has  not  directly 
publicly  criticized  the  Government  on  specific  human  rights 
issues,  after  the  September  executions  it  publicly  reaffirmed 
its  opposition  to  the  death  penalty  and  the  need  in  Burkina 
for  fair  public  trials.   Privately,  it  has  brought  a  number  of 
specific  issues  to  the  attention  of  the  Government,  such  as 
the  treatment  of  prisoners  immediately  after  the  September 
1989  coup  plot.   Members  were  not  harassed  in  1989. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Minority  ethnic  groups  are  as  likely  to  be  represented  in  the 
inner  circles  of  the  Government  as  are  the  dominant  Mossi,  who 
comprise  50  percent  of  the  population.   Government  decisions 
do  not  favor  one  ethnic  group  over  another. 

In  the  largely  rural  African  society  of  Burkina  Faso,  women 
still  occupy  a  subordinate  position.   Women  supply  much  of  the 
labor  in  family  farming  and  are  active  in  the  market  economy. 
The  Government  is  committed  to  expanding  opportunities  for 
women,  including  in  cabinet  and  civil  service  positions. 

Women  make  up  one-fourth  of  the  government  work  force,  which 
represents  one-third  of  the  total  salaried  work  force  in  the 
country.   Women  make  up  approximately  one-third  of  the  total 
student  population  in  the  primary,  secondary,  and  advanced 
school  systems.   While  there  is  no  known  discrimination 
against  women  in  the  granting  of  scholarships  for  advanced 
study,  schools  in  rural  areas  have  disproportionately  fewer 
girls  than  schools  in  urban  areas. 

Violence  against  women,  expecially  wife  beating,  occurs  fairly 
frequently  in  the  rural  areas,  less  often  in  the  urban  areas. 
The  Government  is  attempting  through  the  National  Women's 


35 


BURKINA  FASO 

Association  (UFB)  to  educate  people  on  the  subject.   Specific 
cases  can  be  brought  to  the  UFB  which  attempts  to  offer 
protection  and  counsel.   Such  cases  are  sometimes  brought 
before  a  "popular  conciliation  tribunal"  for  mediation.   The 
Government  also  sponsors  campaigns  against  female  genital 
mutilation,  which  still  occurs  in  many  rural  areas,  although 
it  is  becoming  less  common  in  urban  centers.   Another  form  of 
multilation  is  by  scarring  the  face  of  both  boys  and  girls  of 
certain  ethnic  groups,  which  is  rapidly  disappearing.   The  UFB 
also  takes  the  leadership  in  these  campaigns. 

Section  6   Worker  Rights 

a.  The  Right  of  Association 

Workers  have  traditionally  had  the  legal  right  to  associate. 
There  are  a  number  of  autonomous  unions  and  five  labor 
federations.   Organized  labor  continues  to  be  an  important 
force  in  Burkina  Faso.   All  unions  jealously  guard  their 
limited  independence  from  the  Government.   However,  despite 
legal  rights,  the  unions  have  been  prevented  from  engaging  in 
activities  the  Government  opposes.   Under  the  previous  regime, 
many  labor  leaders  were  arrested  and  held  for  long  periods. 
Some  were  reportedly  tortured.   One  former  trade  union 
official  was  detained  briefly  in  September  1989,  allegedly  in 
connection  with  a  nonunion  dispute. 

Organized  labor  has  the  legal  right  to  strike,  but  the  Sankara 
government  eliminated  this  right  in  practice.   The  Compaore 
Government  has  not  faced  major  labor  unrest,  and  its  attitude 
has  yet  to  be  tested.   There  were  several  minor  strikes  in 
1989.   The  International  Labor  Organization's  (ILO)  Committee 
of  Experts  noted  with  satisfaction  in  1989  that  all  the 
teachers  dismissed  following  a  strike  in  1989  had  been 
reinstated,  that  sanctions  against  officials  had  been  lifted, 
and  that  all  political  prisoners  and  admistrative  detainees 
had  been  freed. 

The  largest  federation,  the  National  Organization  of  Free 
Trade  Unions,  is  affiliated  with  the  International 
Confederation  of  Free  Trade  Unions.   Another  federation  is 
affiliated  with  the  World  Confederation  of  Labor,  and  a  third 
is  affiliated  with  the  Communist-controlled  World  Federation 
of  Trade  Unions.   The  other  two  federations  are  unaffiliated. 
The  five  federations  take  turns  representing  labor  at  the  ILO 
meetings  and  participate  in  African  regional  labor  meetings  as 
we  1 1 . 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Unions  have  the  right  to  bargain  for  wages  and  other  benefits 
within  a  specific  bargaining  unit,  such  as  a  company  or 
factory,  but  cannot  bargain  industry-wide.   They  represent  the 
interests  of  their  members  in  the  private  and  public  sectors, 
as  well  as  before  the  labor  inspection  service  of  the 
Government  and  before  the  courts. 

There  are  no  export  processing  zones  in  Burkina  Faso. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 
Forced  labor  is  not  employed  and  is  prohibited  by  law. 


36 


BURKINA  FASO 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  labor  code  sets  the  minimum  age  for  employment  at  14,  the 
average  age  for  completion  of  basic  secondary  school. 
However,  the  Government  lacks  the  means  to  enforce  this 
provision  adequately,  even  in  the  small-wage  sector.   Most 
children  actually  begin  work  at  an  earlier  age  owing  to  the 
large  number  of  small,  family  subsistence  farms  and  the 
traditional  apprenticeship  system. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

A  minimum  monthly  wage  of  about  $75  and  a  maximum  workweek  of 
48  hours  are  stipulated  by  the  labor  code,  as  are  safety  and 
health  provisions.   This  minumum  wage  is  not  adequate  for  a 
worker  to  support  a  family,  and  wage  workers  usually  must  rely 
on  supplementing  income  through  the  extended  family  and 
subsistence  agriculture.   A  system  of  government  inspections 
and  labor  courts  ensures  that  these  provisions  are  applied  in 
the  small  industrial  and  commercial  sectors,  but  they  have 
been  impossible  to  enforce  in  the  dominant  subsistence 
agriculture  sector  which  involves  90  percent  of  the  population. 


37 


BURUNDI 


The  Republic  of  Burundi  is  a  one-party,  military-controlled 
state  led  by  President  Pierre  Buyoya,  an  army  major  who  came 
to  power  in  a  bloodless  coup  in  September  1987.   The  executive 
power  is  held  by  a  30-member  Military  Committee  for  National 
Salvation.   The  22-member  Cabinet  appointed  by  the  Military 
Committee  is  composed  of  20  civilians  and  2  military 
officers.   While  the  Military  Committee  is  the  ultimate 
decisionmaking  body,  the  Cabinet  formulates  and  proposes 
policies  and  manages  the  day-to-day  business  of  government. 
The  National  Party  for  Unity  and  Progress  (UPRONA)  is  the  only 
political  entity  in  Burundi.   As  President  of  the  Republic  and 
head  of  the  Military  Committee,  Buyoya  plays  a  dominant  policy 
role.   With  the  Constitution  suspended  officially.  President 
Buyoya  exercises  legislative  and  regulatory  powers  as  well. 
After  assuming  power  in  1987,  Buyoya  embarked  upon  a  slow  but 
steady  campaign  to  promote  ethnic  justice.   The  dominance  of 
the  minority  Tutsi  over  the  majority  Hutu  ethnic  group  remains 
the  overriding  social  and  political  issue  in  Burundi.   It  was 
an  underlying  cause  of  a  serious  outbreak  of  interethnic 
violence  in  northern  Burundi  in  August  1988,  in  which  at  least 
5,000  people  lost  their  lives  after  Hutu  peasants  began 
killing  local  Tutsis,  followed  by  a  bloody  military 
intervention  to  restore  order.   In  the  wake  of  the  violence, 
the  Government  accelerated  its  policies  of  ethnic 
conciliation.   This  helped  lead  to  the  rapid  repatriation  of 
the  approximately  50,000  refugees  who  had  fled  to  neighboring 
Rwanda  and  the  thousands  of  others  who  had  sought  refuge 
elsewhere  in  Burundi . 

The  Burundian  armed  forces,  dominated  by  the  Tutsi,  are  small 
in  number  but  well  equipped  and  well  trained  to  maintain  law 
and  order.   In  addition,  there  is  a  regular  police  force 
responsible  for  public  order  and  a  separate  force  of  security 
police  responsible  primarily  for  internal  state  security, 
including  the  monitoring  of  dissent.   The  State  Security 
Police  have  the  same  powers  of  arrest  as  the  regular  police 
and  are  subject  to  the  same  process  of  judicial  review. 

Burundi  is  a  poor  country  with  one  of  the  highest  population 
densities  in  Africa.   The  AIDS  epidemic  has  made  serious 
inroads  among  its  5  million  people,  and  it  is  expected  to 
adversely  affect  economic  activity  in  coming  years.   Most 
Burundians  (90  percent)  earn  their  livelihood  as  subsistence 
farmers  working  small,  privately  owned  plots.   The  small 
monetary  economy  is  based  on  coffee,  which  accounts  for  nearly 
90  percent  of  foreign  exchange  earnings,  and  other  cash 
crops.   Burundi  is  one  of  the  highest  per  capita  recipients  of 
foreign  assistance  in  Africa. 

While  human  rights  continued  to  be  restricted  in  several  key 
areas  in  1989,  President  Buyoya  accelerated  efforts  to  achieve 
ethnic  reconciliation  in  the  wake  of  the  August  1988 
violence.   By  the  early  months  of  1989,  the  repatriation  and 
resettlement  of  nearly  all  of  the  50,000  refugees  under  the 
auspices  of  the  Quadrilateral  Commission  of  the  United  Nations 
High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  (UNHCR) ,  Burundi,  Rwanda,  and 
Zaire  had  been  completed  efficiently  and  without  serious 
incident.   Throughout  1989  the  Government  and  party  undertook 
an  extensive  public  education  campaign  based  on  dialog  between 
Hutus  and  Tutsis.   In  May  the  National  Unity  Commission,  a 
high-level  assembly  of  representatives  of  both  ethnic 
communities  charged  by  President  Buyoya  with  recommending 
long-term  solutions  to  the  ethnic  problem,  released  its 


38 


BURUNDI 

report.   The  Commission  called  for  sweeping  changes,  including 
the  reestablishment  of  democratic  institutions,  the 
elimination  of  discriminatory  employment  practices, 
educational  reform,  and  the  creation  of  a  national  body  to 
oversee  the  operations  of  the  security  services.   By  year's 
end,  considerable  progress  had  been  made  in  the  areas  of 
education  and  employment,  but  progress  was  slow  in  integrating 
Hutus  into  the  military  forces.   Major  human  rights  concerns 
in  1989  included  mistreatment  of  prisoners  (one  detainee  died 
of  beatings  while  in  custody  in  1989)  and  restrictions  on 
freedom  of  press,  assembly,  and  the  right  of  citizens  to 
change  their  government  by  democratic  means. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  no  confirmed  instances  of  politically  motivated  or 
government-instigated  killings  in  1989.   From  the  evidence 
that  emerged  in  late  1988  and  early  1989,  including 
house-to-house  censuses  in  the  affected  communes  coordinated 
by  international  organizations,  most  outside  observers  are  now 
in  agreement  that  the  August  1988  ethnic  violence  resulted  in 
between  5,000  and  10,000  deaths.   The  Government  acknowledged 
that  innocent  civilians  were  among  the  victims  of  the  Army 
intervention,  but  it  denied  vengeance  killings  took  place. 
There  is  no  public  information  that  the  Government  has  taken 
any  action  to  punish  soldiers  who  may  have  exceeded  their 
orders  in  using  force  against  innocent  civilians. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  occasional  reports  by  exile  opposition  groups  of 
disappearances  in  Burundi  during  1989,  but  international 
relief  and  human  rights  organizations  have  not  been  able  to 
confirm  any  such  cases.   It  is  likely  that  several  cases  of 
disappearance  connected  with  the  ethnic  violence  in  August 
1988  will  never  be  resolved,  given  the  uncertainty  over  the 
number  of  deaths  and  the  large  population  flows  that  occurred 
in  the  affected  areas  in  the  following  months. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Torture  is  forbidden  by  law,  but  cruel  treatment  of  suspects 
or  detainees  has  occasionally  occurred  in  the  form  of  beatings 
at  the  time  of  arrest  or  interrogation.   A  September  1989 
incident  in  which  a  detainee  in  Bujumbura  died  following  a 
beating  was  documented  in  the  government-owned  newspaper, 
which  reported  that  the  officer  in  question  was  being 
prosecuted . 

Since  coming  to  power,  the  Buyoya  regime  has  allowed  regular 
inspection  of  prison  conditions  by  the  International  Committee 
of  the  Red  Cross  (ICRC).   ICRC  access  to  individuals  detained 
following  the  ethnic  violence  in  1988  was  restricted  for 
nearly  3  months,  and  access  to  a  dozen  detainees  suspected  of 
participating  in  a  coup  plot  was  restricted  briefly  in  early 
1989.    In  both  instances,  full  access  was  restored.   Prison 
conditions  remain  severe  due  to  lack  of  adequate  hygiene, 
medical  care,  and  food;  but  the  Government  has  begun  a  program 
of  improving  conditions. 


39 


BURUNDI 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Police  officers  are  empowered  to  detain  suspects  without  an 
arrest  warrant  but  must  submit  a  written  report  to  the  public 
prosecutor's  office  within  24  hours.   The  public  prosecutor 
examines  the  report  and  can  either  order  the  release  of  the 
detainee  or  issue  an  arrest  warrant  valid  for  5  days.   The 
public  prosecutor  then  must  state  the  charges  before  a 
magistrate  in  the  presence  of  the  detainee.   The  magistrate 
either  releases  the  detainee  or  issues  orders  confirming  the 
detention,  initially  for  15  days  and  subsequently  for  30-day 
periods  as  necessary  to  prepare  the  case  for  trial.   Bail  is 
set  only  in  cases  of  embezzlement  or  similar  crimes  involving 
financial  wrongdoing.   In  general,  the  prescribed  procedures 
for  arrest  and  imprisonment  are  followed.   However,  time 
limits  for  issuance  of  arrest  warrants  and  appearance  before  a 
magistrate  are  often  exceeded,  usually  due  to  a  shortage  of 
magistrates  and  prosecutors.   The  Government  has  begun  to 
address  this  problem  by  increasing  the  number  of  magistrates. 

There  were  no  known  political  detainees  at  the  end  of  1989. 
Approximately  40  persons  arrested  in  the  wake  of  the  August 
1988  violence  remained  in  custody  at  the  end  of  1989  pending 
completion  of  investigations.   A  dozen  individuals,  including 
two  military  officers  and  several  prominent  businessman,  were 
detained  in  March  in  connection  with  an  alleged  coup  and  have 
not  yet  been  brought  to  trial.   Six  signatories  (among  27)  of 
an  open  letter  to  the  President  criticizing  the  Army's  role  in 
the  ethnic  violence  were  released  in  January  1989  and  allowed 
to  return  to  their  former  jobs.   Two  other  signatories  were 
detained  briefly  in  1988.   Of  the  others,  several  fled  the 
country,  while  those  who  remained  of  this  group  were  not 
detained.   The  signatory  students  were  readmitted  to  the 
university. 

In  June  between  10  and  20  local  members  of  the  Jehovah's 
Witnesses  were  detained  for  acts  of  civil  disobedience,  such 
as  refusing  to  salute  the  flag.   According  to  reliable 
sources,  all  those  detained  were  released  by  early  fall. 

The  Government  does  not  exile  its  nationals  as  a  means  of 
political  control.   Since  his  ouster,  Ex-President  Bagaza  and 
his  wife  have  been  denied  permission  to  return  to  Burundi,  but 
the  Buyoya  Government  has  said  it  is  willing  to  negotiate  the 
conditions  of  their  return.   Citizens  of  other  countries 
suspected  of  criminal  activity  or  lacking  proper  residency 
documents  are  often  expelled.   This  occurred  in  April  when  the 
entire  Libyan  community,  including  resident  diplomats,  was 
expelled  in  the  wake  of  an  alleged  coup  plot. 

with  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  judiciary's  independence  is  limited  by  the  requirement 
that  it  adhere  to  the  guidance  and  reconwnendations  of  the 
party,  the  Government,  and  the  President.   Judges  are 
appointed  by  and  serve  at  the  pleasure  of  the  President.   In 
general,  there  is  a  high  degree  of  autonomy  in  the  court's 
daily  administration  of  justice.   The  President  has  the  power 
to  pardon  or  reduce  sentences.   In  cases  of  major  political 
interest,  the  Government  has  occasionally  interfered  with  the 
judiciary. 


40 


BURUNDI 

Burundi  has  separate  court  systems  to  deal  with  military, 
civil/criminal,  and  state  security  cases.   In  early  1989,  a 
new  court,  the  Cour  des  Comptes  (Court  of  Accounts),  was 
established  to  investigate  and  prosecute  cases  of  official 
corruption.   While  little  is  known  about  this  Court's 
proceedings,  it  became  important  in  1989  in  prosecuting 
high-level  officials.   Military  tribunals  have  jurisdiction 
only  over  military  personnel.   The  State  Security  Court  has 
jurisdiction  over  both  civilian  and  military  personnel,  and 
its  proceedings  need  not  be  made  public.   To  date,  this  Court 
has  been  used  only  once,  in  prosecuting  ex-President  Micombero 
in  the  mid-1970's.   Burundi  law  provides  the  right  to  counsel, 
and  indigents  are  provided  defense  counsel  by  the  State. 
Pretrial  proceedings  may  involve  lengthy  investigations.   The 
courts  are  hampered  by  a  lack  of  trained  legal  personnel  and 
by  heavy  case  loads. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  With  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  inviolability  of  the  home  and  of  private  correspondence 
were  provided  for  in  the  suspended  Constitution  and  are  still 
respected  in  practice.   A  judicial  warrant  is  required  for  a 
law  enforcement  official  to  enter  and  search  a  private 
residence.   The  State  Security  Office  monitors  political 
dissent  through  the  State  Security  Police  and  by  employing 
informers  who  report  on  discontent  and  dissent  as  well  as  on 
criminal  activity.   Membership  in  the  sole  legal  party  is  not 
required  by  law.   There  is  no  coercive  population  control. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

While  there  are  significant  restrictions  on  speech  and  press 
freedoms,  since  the  beginning  of  the  Buyoya  regime  there  has 
been  an  unprecedented  outpouring  of  public  debate  and 
questioning  on  formerly  taboo  subjects,  such  as  ethnic 
relations  and  official  corruption.   The  debate  on  ethnic 
relations  intensified  following  the  1988  ethnic  violence,  and 
throughout  1989  party  meetings  were  held  in  every  province  to 
discuss  the  ethnic  issue.   Political  debate  is  largely 
confined  to  UPRONA  party  meetings,  the  forum  for  dialog 
officially  encouraged  by  the  Government.   The  Government's 
tolerance  for  public  criticism  outside  party  forums  is 
limited.   Possession  of  opposition  political  tracts  is  a 
punishable  offense,  e.g.,  the  arrest,  after  the  August  1988 
ethnic  killings,  of  a  number  of  Hutu  intellectuals  and 
students,  signatories  of  an  open  letter  critical  of  the  army's 
role,  (see  Section  l.d.). 

The  Government  controls  all  domestic  print  and  broadcast 
media.   The  French-language  daily  and  Kirundi-language  weekly 
newspapers  are  published  by  the  Ministry  of  Information,  which 
also  operates  the  domestic  radio  and  television  stations.   The 
media  are  traditionally  required  to  support  the  fundamental 
policies  of  the  party  and  the  Government.   Some  criticism  of 
the  Government  is  permitted  in  the  printed  press,  but 
journalists  are  state  employees  and  subject  to  disciplinary 
action  if  their  criticism  goes  beyond  what  is  considered 
tolerable.   The  Government  has  interfered  on  occasion  with  the 
distribution  of  foreign  news  publications  but  has  never 
interfered  with  radio  reception  from  foreign  sources.   Public 
censorship  occurs  only  in  the  case  of  sexually  explicit 
foreign  film  material  or  publications 


41 


BURUNDI 

Academic  freedom  is  limited.   Primary  and  secondary  school 
teachers  are  expected  to  support  government  policies.   At  the 
university,  professors  come  from  many  different  countries, 
both  East  and  West,  and  are  generally  permitted  to  lecture 
freely  in  their  subject  areas,  conduct  research,  and  draw 
independent  conclusions.   However,  two  university  professors 
were  among  the  six  signatories  of  the  August  1988  open  letter 
to  President  Buyoya  who  were  detained  for  several  months. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

In  the  aftermath  of  the  August  1988  ethnic  violence,  a  ban  on 
public  assemblies  of  more  than  five  persons  and  a  nationwide 
curfew  were  in  effect  for  2  1/2  months.   No  such  measures  were 
instituted  in  the  spring  of  1989  following  the  discovery  of 
two  coup  plots.   However,  no  political  meetings  or 
associations  other  than  those  tied  to  the  ruling  party  are 
permitted.   The  Government  permits  nonpolitical  private 
associations,  but  requires  that  they  be  registered  and 
accorded  legal  recognition  before  they  may  function. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Since  coming  to  power.  President  Buyoya  has  made  sweeping 
changes  in  Burundi's  policies  toward  organized  religion, 
reversing  the  repression  of  religious  expression  under  the 
Bagaza  regime.   President  Buyoya  freed  all  religious 
prisoners,  reopened  the  closed  churches,  returned  confiscated 
church  properties,  including  houses  and  schools,  authorized 
weekday  religious  services,  reinstituted  the  activities  of 
catechists,  and  authorized  church  schools  (including 
seminaries  and  literacy/catechism  classes),  publications,  and 
radio  broadcasts.   Most  of  the  missionaries  who  were  expelled 
under  President  Bagaza  are  being  allowed  to  return,  and  there 
are  no  restrictions  on  new  missionaries. 

Organized  religion,  in  particular  the  Catholic  Church,  plays  a 
key  role  in  the  development  of  the  country  and  the  lives  of 
both  rural  and  urban  Burundians. 

Religious  expression  continues  to  be  regulated  by  civil  laws 
and  regulations.   Religious  organizations  are  subject  to  the 
same  rules  and  restrictions  which  apply  to  secular 
organizations.   All  religious  associations  must  receive 
approval  from  the  Government  to  operate  in  Burundi,  and  a 
Burundian  citizen  must  be  appointed  as  legal  representative  of 
each  association.   Religious  groups  may  not  engage  in 
political  activity  critical  of  the  Government.   During  the 
Bagaza  regime,  two  religions  were  banned:   the  Seventh-Day 
Adventists  and  the  Jehovah's  Witnesses.   The  Buyoya  Government 
has  since  legally  recognized  the  Adventist  Church  and  returned 
all  of  its  confiscated  properties.   It  has,  however,  continued 
the  ban  on  the  Jehovah's  Witnesses,  allegedly  because  of  their 
refusal  to  recognize  the  authority  of  the  State  (see  Section 
l.d.).   There  are  no  barriers  to  the  maintenance  of  links  with 
coreligionists  in  other  countries.   Participation  in  religious 
groups  does  not  exclude  individuals  from  membership  in  the 
UPRONA  party  or  from  receiving  social  benefits. 


42 


BURUNPI 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  Government  has  not  instituted  restrictions  on  internal 
travel  since  the  aftermath  of  the  August  1988  ethnic  violence 
in  the  north,  when  nationwide  restrictions  were  enforced  for  a 
period  of  2  1/2  months. 

Some  60,000  Burundian  citizens  fled  to  Rwanda  following  the 
1988  ethnic  violence  in  northern  Burundi.   Under  the  terms  of 
an  agreement  negotiated  in  November  1988  by  the  Governments  of 
Burundi,  Rwanda,  and  Zaire  and  the  United  Nations  High 
Commissioner  for  Refugees  (UNHCR) ,  the  Government  of  Burundi 
agreed  inter  alia  to  grant  a  general  amnesty  to  those  who  had 
fled.   All  but  a  few  hundred  of  the  refugees  had  returned 
voluntarily  to  their  homes  by  early  1989,  and  on  May  31 
voluntary  repatriation  ended.   As  with  past  returning 
refugees,  this  group  of  repatriated  Burundians  was  accorded 
full  rights  as  citizens. 

The  UNHCR  reported  that  during  the  period  September  through 
November  1989,  approximately  300  new  refugees  crossed  from 
Burundi  to  the  Muhero  camp  in  Rwanda.   This  new  outflow 
reflects  residual  fears  in  the  areas  affected  by  the  events  of 
August  1988.   It  was  also  probably  prompted  in  part  by  police 
movements  following  a  large-scale  prison  escape  in  the  region 
in  September. 

Burundi  claims  to  host  some  260,000  refugees,  most  of  whom  are 
Rwandan  Tutsis  who  have  resided  in  Burundi  since  the  1960 's. 
The  Government  works  closely  with  the  UNHCR  in  refugee  matters 
and  does  not  force  resettlement.   However,  it  has  periodically 
repatriated  Zairians  and  Rwandans  who  lack  residence  permits 
or  who  have  been  arrested  on  suspicion  of  criminal  activities. 

The  Government  continues  to  discourage  migration  to  urban 
areas  through  an  active  public  education  campaign.   Foreign 
travel  and  emigration  are  relatively  free,  though  travelers 
must  explain  the  reason  for  their  trip  and  must  surrender 
their  passports  to  the  Immigration  Office  on  their  return  to 
Burundi.   Prospective  Burundian  travelers  must  have  exit  visas 
as  well  as  passports. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

No  mechanism  exists  in  Burundi  that  allows  citizens  to  change 
their  government  through  democratic  procedures.   Since 
independence,  there  have  been  three  changes  of  government,  all 
by  military  coups.   When  he  took  office.  President  Buyoya 
promised  a  new  constitution  and  a  return  to  civilian  rule 
within  2  years,  but  progress  towards  these  goals  has  been 
slow.   When  it  released  its  report  in  May,  the 
government-appointed  National  Unity  Commission  called  for 
increased  democratization  as  a  means  of  promoting  ethnic 
conciliation,  including  the  reinstatement  of  the  constitution 
and  the  national  legislature. 

Political  participation  takes  place  only  within  the  one-party 
structure,  and  voters  can  express  dissatisfaction  only  by 
voting  against  incumbents  for  party  positions.   The  party  is 
open  to  all  Burundian  citizens  supporting  its  principles,  and 
both  men  and  women  are  active  members  and  officeholders.   The 
UPRONA  party,  together  with  its  affiliated  youth,  women's,  and 


43 


BURUNDI 

labor  movements,  claims  a  membership  of  approximately  1.4 
million  persons,  over  three-quarters  of  the  adult  population. 

The  party  regularly  holds  local  and  regional  meetings,  where 
party  members  discuss  issues  and  make  recommendations. 
Formerly,  the  slate  of  candidates  for  local  and  national  party 
offices  was  selected  by  government  cadres  and  voted  upon  by 
party  membership.   Since  President  Buyoya  came  to  power,  any 
party  member  wishing  to  run  for  office  can  have  his  or  her 
name  on  the  ballot.   Allegations  that  Hutus  were  discriminated 
against  in  this  process  are  thought  to  have  contributed  to  the 
unrest  prior  to  the  outbreak  of  ethnic  violence  in  August 
1988.   Voting  is  secret  in  localities  where  members  are 
literate,  but  in  some  rural  areas  where  members  are 
illiterate,  voting  is  accomplished  by  a  show  of  hands. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

After  initially  rejecting  calls  for  an  international 
investigation  into  the  August  1988  ethnic  violence,  the  Buyoya 
Government  stated  that  it  would  permit  the  United  Nations 
Secretary  General  to  dispatch  a  U.N.  Information  Mission  to 
examine  ethnic  tensions  and  the  refugee  problem.   This 
mission,  organized  by  local  U.N.  representatives,  took  place 
in  late  1988  and  reported  positively  on  relevant 
developments.   In  addition,  the  Government  permitted  extensive 
visits  by  outside  observers,  including  the  ICRC,  journalists, 
diplomats,  and  historians. 

An  Amnesty  International  delegation  that  visited  Burundi  in 
June  urged  the  Government  to  ensure  that  all  current  detainees 
be  brought  to  trial  promptly  and  fairly  if  they  face  criminal 
charges,  or  else  be  released. 

Burundi  is  a  party  to  several  United  Nations'  instruments  on 
human  rights.   In  July  1989  it  ratified  the  Human  Rights 
Charter  of  the  Organization  of  African  Unity. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Historically,  the  minority  Tutsi  have  dominated  the  majority 
Hutu  people.   Civil  strife  has  erupted  between  the  two  groups 
several  times  in  the  modern  era,  most  recently  in  1972  and 
1988.   In  both  instances,  a  Hutu  uprising  that  left  many  Tutsi 
dead  was  followed  by  military  intervention  that  resulted  in 
massive  killings  of  Hutus.   The  violence  was  followed  in  both 
cases  by  thousands  of  Hutu  refugees  fleeing  Burundi,  and  in 
both  cases  after  the  violence  had  subsided  the  refugees  were 
encouraged  by  the  Government  to  return.   Unlike  in  1988,  large 
numbers  of  those  who  fled  in  1972  remained  outside  the 
country.   Another  important  dissimilarity  was  that  the  1988 
killings  were  limited  in  area  and  duration,  and  the  Government 
moved  rapidly  to  restore  ethnic  confidence  with  the  support  of 
the  international  community.   In  the  aftermath  of  the  1988 
violence.  President  Buyoya  stepped  up  the  pace  of  reform, 
appointing  a  Hutu  Prime  Minister,  an  ethnically  balanced 
Cabinet,  and  a  National  Unity  Commission  to  recommend 
fundamental  reforms. 

De  facto  discrimination  by  Tutsis  against  Hutus,  however, 
remains  in  many  areas  of  society,  although  it  is  not  condoned 
by  law.   There  are  few  Hutus  in  the  Army,  and  the  majority  of 


44 


civil  service  jobs,  as  well  as  university  places,  are  held  by 
Tutsis.   As  a  result  of  President  Buyoya ' s  ethnic  reform 
efforts,  Hutus  made  substantial  inroads  into  the  civil  service 
in  1989,  and  the  number  of  Hutus  entering  secondary  school 
exceeded  the  number  of  Tutsis  for  the  first  time  in  recent 
years.   However,  the  pace  of  integration  in  the  military 
remained  slow.   Tutsis  dominate  the  modern  economic  sector, 
while  in  rural  areas  economic  opportunities  are  roughly 
equivalent  for  both  ethnic  groups. 

Women  hold  a  secondary  position  in  society,  although  their 
status  is  changing  slowly  from  traditional  patterns.   The 
suspended  Constitution,  respected  in  practice,  provides  for 
legal  equality.   The  current  legal  code  prohibits  polygamy  and 
a  dowry  requirement,  allows  women  some  control  over  family 
matters,  and  provides  for  land  inheritance  by  women.   Women  in 
Burundi  are  able  to  obtain  divorces,  but  there  is  strong 
social  pressure  against  divorce. 

Traditional  practices  continue  to  prevail  in  many  of  these  and 
other  areas  of  social  conduct,  however.   In  the  preponderant 
rural  sector,  women  perform  the  bulk  of  field  labor,  while 
cattle  raising  and  wage  labor  are  generally  reserved  for  men. 
Although  fewer  women  than  men  obtain  a  formal  education,  once 
a  degree  is  obtained  women  can  generally  find  suitable 
employment.   The  Government  has  not  discriminated  against 
women  in  hiring,  and  the  civil  service  pay  scale  makes  no 
distinction  between  men  and  women.   Women  are  not 
significantly  represented  in  business,  the  professions,  and  at 
higher  levels  of  government,  although  the  situation  has 
improved  in  recent  years. 

Violence  against  women,  especially  wife  beating,  is  known  to 
take  place,  but  as  there  are  not  studies  available,  the  extent 
ot  the  violence  is  difficult  to  quantify.   Police  do  not 
normally  intervene  in  domestic  disputes.   Severe  cases  are 
dealt  with  by  the  legal  system.   The  Government  officially 
discourages  violence  against  women  but  addresses  the  problem 
largely  through  the  Burundi  Women's  Union  which  provides 
counseling  and,  when  deemed  necessary,  referral  to  legal 
authorities . 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

Burundian  workers  do  not  have  the  right  of  association  as 
defined  by  the  International  Labor  Organization  (ILO).   The 
UPRONA  party  controls  the  National  Trade  Union  Confederation 
(UTB)  and  has  institutionalized  this  single  trade  union 
structure  by  means  of  legislation.   No  other  unions  are 
allowed  by  law.   The  present  head  of  the  UTB  was  named  by 
President  Buyoya,  but  all  other  officeholders  were  elected  by 
the  UTB  membership.   The  principal  role  of  the  UTB,  to  which 
virtually  the  entire  salaried  work  force  belongs,  is  to  serve 
as  an  intermediary  between  workers  and  employers  in  labor 
matters.   The  UTB  formulates  its  programs  and  policies  in 
concert  with  the  Ministry  of  Labor.   Unauthorized  advocacy  of 
a  strike  or  lockout  is  a  criminal  offense.   Although  they  are 
technically  permissible,  there  have  been  no  strikes  in  recent 
years.   The  UTB  is  a  member  of  the  Organization  of  African 
Trade  Union  Unity. 


45 


BURUNDI 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Workers  do  not  have  the  right  to  organize  outside  the  UTB. 
Within  the  UTB,  they  have  the  right  to  bargain  individually 
and  collectively  in  labor  disputes.   In  practice,  the  UTB  has 
often  forced  employers  to  revise  their  practices.   This  has 
usually  come  after  implementation  of  one  or  more  steps  of  the 
official  three-step  process  of  dispute  resolution:  direct 
employer-employee  discussions  under  the  auspices  of  the  UTB; 
an  administrative  hearing  before  a  government  labor  inspector; 
and  a  legal  proceeding  before  the  labor  court  in  which  the  UTB 
represents  the  employee.   There  is  almost  universal  membership 
in  UTB  among  salaried  employees,  and  antiunion  discrimination 
is  not  a  problem  in  practice.   There  are  no  export  processing 
zones  in  Burundi,  and  labor  laws  are  applied  uniformly 
throughout  the  country. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

While  forced  or  compulsory  labor  is  not  permitted  under 
Burundi  law,  the  ILO  Committee  of  Experts  has  noted  that 
provisions  of  ordinances  concerning  the  conservation  and 
utilization  of  soils  and  the  creation  and  maintenance  of 
minimum  areas  of  food  crops  are  in  violation  of  ILO  Convention 
No.  29.   It  has  urged  the  Government  to  bring  the  texts  into 
conformity  with  the  Convention  and  into  line  with  what  the 
Government  asserts  is  actual  practice.   The  Committee  also 
noted  that  the  various  legislative  provisions  which  call  for 
imprisonment  and  an  obligation  to  work  as  punishment  for 
expressions  of  political  views  contrary  to  those  of  the  party 
are  not  in  compliance  with  ILO  Convention  105.   The  Government 
has  indicated  that  it  intends  to  examine  the  possibility  of 
revising  the  prison  legislation,  but  it  has  not  yet  taken  any 
action. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

In  the  modern,  urban  section  of  the  economy,  children  under 
the  age  of  12  may  not  be  employed  in  any  capacity,  nor  may 
children  under  the  age  of  16  be  engaged  in  dangerous  or 
strenuous  work.   However,  as  a  practical  matter  in  this  poor, 
largely  rural  country,  many  children  are  obliged  by  custom  and 
circumstance  to  help  their  families  in  subsistence  agriculture. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Over  90  percent  of  the  population  of  Burundi  is  engaged  in 
subsistence  agriculture.   Worker  rights  are  prescribed  by  the 
Burundi  Labor  Code  and  by  the  UTB,  but  these  rights  have 
relevance  primarily  for  workers  in  the  small,  wage  sector  of 
the  economy.   The  established  minimum  wage  is  the  equivalent 
of  approximately  $1.03  per  day  in  Bujumbura,  and  $0.90  per  day 
in  rural  areas;  this  wage  level  is  inadequate  to  provide  a 
decent  living  for  urban  families,  who  frequently  supplement 
their  income  through  family  gardening  or  small  commerce. 
Wages  are  higher  for  workers  in  the  few  private  sector 
businesses  and  in  skilled  jobs.   Working  hours  vary  between  40 
and  45  hours  per  week.   Saturday  afternoons,  Sundays,  and 
holidays  are  times  of  rest.   In  the  modern  economic  sector, 
minimum  health  and  safety  standards  are  monitored  by  the 
Ministry  of  Labor.   The  enforcement  of  these  standards  is 
limited. 


46 


Political  power  in  Cameroon  is  concentrated  in  the  Presidency 
and  a  single  party,  the  Cameroon  People's  Democratic  Movement 
(CPDM) .   President  Paul  Biya  is  Head  of  State  and  head  of  the 
CPDM.   The  President  makes  all  major  decisions  and  appoints 
all  government  and  party  officials,  although  key 
parliamentarians  have  some  behind-the-scenes  influence.   The 
National  Assembly  generally  approves  measures  proposed  by  the 
Government.   Although  the  Assembly  has  the  right  to  propose 
legislation,  it  does  so  rarely.   Cameroon's  political  system 
is  influenced  by  its  ethnic  and  linguistic  diversity,  which 
includes  230  languages  and  3  separate  European  colonial 
traditions  (German,  French,  and  British).   French  and  English 
are  official  languages.   A  careful  balancing  act  among  the 
various  groups  within  the  Government  and  party  is  required  to 
maintain  political  cohesion,  and  this  acts  as  a  check  on 
government  power. 

Internal  security  responsibilities  are  shared  by  the  National 
Police  (Surete  Nationale),  the  National  Intelligence  Service 
(CENER) ,  the  Ministry  of  Territorial  Administration,  Military 
Intelligence,  and,  to  a  lesser  extent,  the  Presidential 
Security  Service.   The  Ministry  of  Territorial  Administration 
is  in  charge  of  prisons,  and  the  National  Police  has  the 
dominant  role  in  enforcing  internal  security  laws. 

Cameroon's  per  capita  gross  domestic  product  (GDP)  of  about 
$970  in  1987  placed  it  among  the  middle-income  developing 
countries.   However,  the  declining  prices  of  Cameroon's  key 
commodities,  including  coffee,  cocoa,  and  petroleum,  and  the 
rigors  of  structural  adjustment  are  likely  to  reduce  1989  per 
capita  gross  domestic  product  to  an  estimated  $850. 
Cameroon's  diversified  agricultural  base,  food 
self-sufficiency,  and  government  policies  aimed  at  promoting 
private-sector  growth  help  mitigate  the  effects  of  declining 
terms  of  trade  and  other  external  difficulties. 

Human  rights  remained  restricted  in  Cameroon  in  1989. 
Positive  developments  included  the  release  of  dissident  author 
Albert  Mukong  and  more  openness  in  addressing  human  rights 
issues.   In  March  a  senior  official  responded  publicly  to 
Amnesty  International's  (AI)  concerns  about  political 
prisoners,  admitting  that  some  persons  remained  in  detention 
despite  the  expiration  of  their  sentences.   President  Biya  has 
officially  advocated  greater  democratization,  and  modest  steps 
have  been  taken  to  expand  popular  political  participation. 
Major  human  rights  concerns  in  1989  included  the  abuse  of 
detainees,  use  of  arbitrary  arrest  and  detention  powers,  harsh 
prison  conditions,  and  restrictions  on  freedoms  of  speech, 
press,  assembly,  women's  rights,  worker  rights,  and  the  right 
of  citizens  to  change  their  government  through  democratic 
means . 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 
There  were  no  reports  of  such  killings  in  1989. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  disappearance. 


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c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Although  the  penal  code  proscribes  torture,  renders 
inadmissible  in  court  evidence  obtained  thereby,  and  prohibits 
public  servants  from  using  force  against  any  person,  there 
were  credible  reports  of  severe  beatings  of  suspects  while  in 
custody  in  1989.   On  one  occasion,  witnesses  observed  security 
officers  publicly  punching  and  beating  a  man.   Inside  prisons, 
poor  conditions  are  common.   Prisoners  suffer  from  serious 
malnutrition  unless  provided  food  by  friends  or  family. 
Brutal  treatment  of  inmates  may  have  led  to  violent  uprisings 
in  at  least  two  Cameroonian  prisons  in  1989.   Persons  under 
"administrative  detention"  (e.g.,  political  detainees)  are 
kept  in  special  camps  or  prisons  to  which  access  by  families 
and  friends  is  severely  restricted. 

AI • s  1989  Report  stresses  the  harsh  conditions  in  Nkondengui 
Prison  in  Yaounde  and  New  Bell  Prison  in  Douala. 
Overcrowding,  the  lack  of  medical  care,  and  malnutrition  may 
have  contributed  to  a  high  death  rate  in  both  prisons  in  1988, 
according  to  AI . 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Under  Cameroonian  law,  a  person  arrested  on  suspicion  of 
having  committed  a  nonpolitical  offense  may  be  held  in  custody 
up  to  24  hours  before  being  charged.   The  period  of  custody 
may  be  renewed  up  to  three  times  with  the  express  agreement  of 
the  Attorney-General.   However,  after  an  investigating 
magistrate  has  determined  the  case  should  be  brought  to  trial 
and  has  issued  a  warrant  to  that  effect,  there  is  no 
limitation  on  how  long  the  detainee  may  be  held  in  "preventive 
detention"  pending  trial. 

Accused  persons  awaiting  trial  constitute  the  majority  of 
persons  in  the  prisons  at  Yaounde  and  Douala.   Release  on  bail 
is  permitted  by  law  only  in  the  Anglophone  provinces,  whose 
legal  system  retains  features  of  British  common  law.   Even 
there,  bail  is  granted  infrequently.   There  have  been  cases  of 
local  or  provincial  authorities  ordering  the  continued 
detention  of  persons  even  after  a  court  ordered  their 
release.   CENER  and  Military  Security  do  not  implement  fully 
the  penal  code  requirement  that  detainees  be  brought  before  a 
magistrate  for  investigation  of  possible  offenses.   They  have 
held  detainees  incommunicado. 

Persons  may  also  be  held  in  "administrative  detention"  under 
legislation  pertaining  to  subversion.   The  penal  code  defines 
administrative  detention  as  "the  loss  of  liberty  for  a 
political  felony  or  misdemeanor."   Such  detention  by  regional 
authorities  is  initially  for  1  month,  renewable  twice,  and  may 
be  extended  up  to  an  additional  6  months  by  the  Minister  of 
Territorial  Administration.   Those  arrested  and  placed  in 
administrative  detention  do  not  disappear.   Their  families  are 
told  where  they  are,  though  not  always  promptly.   They  are 
released  eventually,  though  the  detention  may  be  lengthy,  in 
some  cases  exceeding  the  theoretical  maximum  of  9  months. 

State  of  emergency  provisions,  invoked  following  the  1984  coup 
attempt,  were  allowed  to  lapse  in  1989.   There  is,  therefore, 
no  longer  a  legal  rationale  for  unlimited  administrative 
detention.   Government  of  Cameroon  authorities  state  that  they 
are  working  to  ensure  that  officials  who  have  had  delegated 


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authority  to  order  such  detention  are  made  aware  of  the 
changed  circumstances. 

Albert  Mukong,  a  well-known  critic  of  the  Government  who  had 
been  held  for  nearly  a  year,  was  released  on  May  5  after  the 
Government  dropped  charges  against  him.   It  is  widely  believed 
that  Mukong  was  arrested  for  having  condemned,  during  a 
British  Broadcasting  Corporation  broadcast,  frequent 
constitutional  changes  and  attributing  Cameroon's  economic 
difficulties  to  embezzlement  of  state  funds  by  senior  public 
officials.   The  legal  justification  for  his  detention  remains 
unclear  but  was  apparently  an  old  ordinance  which  proscribes 
conduct  "likely  to  bring  to  contempt  or  ridicule  any  public 
authority  or  (which)  incites  hatred  against  the  government." 

Frederic  Batoum  and  Samuel  Zeze  remained  in  prison  without 
charge  at  the  end  of  1989,  apparently  for  supporting  the 
banned  opposition  party,  the  Union  of  Cameroonian  People 
(UPC).   They  had  first  been  arrested  in  1985,  released  in 
1986,  and  then  detained  again  shortly  afterwards.   Abdoulaye 
Mazou,  a  former  senior  official  of  the  Ministry  of  Education, 
was  sentenced  to  5  years  for  having  assisted  his  brother  to 
escape  after  the  1984  coup  attempt.   Although  his  sentence  has 
expired,  he  remains  in  prison  and  is  reportedly  ill. 

An  estimated  40  political  detainees,  including  Moussa  Mahmonde 
and  Mohamadou  Djidji,  who  were  not  released  in  1986  at  the  end 
of  their  sentence,  reportedly  remained  in  detention  at  the  end 
of  1989.   Most  of  these  were  apprehended  around  the  time  of 
the  1984  coup  attempt. 

Cameroon  does  not  engage  in  the  practice  of  forced  exile. 
Early  in  his  first  term.  President  Biya  publicly  encouraged 
all  those  living  abroad  for  political  reasons  to  return  to 
Cameroon  without  fear  of  reprisal. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Trial  by  a  presiding  magistrate  is  provided  for  in  law,  and 
this  practice  is  followed  except  in  the  case  of  persons  held 
under  administrative  detention  or  state  of  emergency 
regulations.   Public  trials  are  also  guaranteed  by  law, 
although  exceptions  are  allowed  for  the  public  good  or  for 
national  security  reasons.   Trials  which  involve  prominent 
persons  or  which  are  controversial  have  sometimes  been  held  in 
private. 

Magistrates  in  Cameroon  are  career  civil  servants  responsible 
to  the  Minister  of  Justice  and  are  required  to  have  law 
degrees.   Their  decisions  are  not  usually  subject  to 
government  interference,  and  they  generally  are  considered  to 
conduct  fair  trials.   The  Minister  of  Justice  has  publicly 
cautioned  magistrates  against  awarding  "excessive"  damages 
against  the  State,  and  there  have  been  reported  cases  of  the 
Government  refusing  to  pay  damages  where  a  court  has  found 
against  it.   Defendants  in  felony  cases  are  provided  attorneys 
if  they  cannot  afford  to  engage  their  own. 

Crimes  involving  subversion  or  illegal  use  of  weapons,  as  well 
as  crimes  involving  the  military,  are  tried  by  military 
tribunals.   Each  tribunal  has  three  members,  and  its  presiding 
officer  must  be  a  magistrate.   In  some  cases,  the  magistrate 
is  a  civilian,  in  others  a  military  officer.   As  in  felony 


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cases  tried  in  the  regular  court  system,  defendants  are 
entitled  to  counsel. 

In  a  March  1989  press  conference,  Cameroon's  Ambassador  to 
France  answered  publicly  a  question  from  AI  about  political 
prisoners  held  in  Cameroon.   According  to  AI,  he  indicated 
that  most  of  them  are  military  officers  implicated  in  the  1984 
coup  attempt.   Some  of  them  were  never  brought  to  trial,  and 
others  have  been  held  past  the  end  of  their  sentences.   Those 
trials  were  conducted  in  secret  by  military  tribunals  and  did 
not  conform  to  internationally  recognized  standards  of 
fairness.   Lawyers  were  given  little  time  to  prepare  a 
defense,  and  defendants  had  no  right  of  appeal.   The 
Ambassador  admitted  that  coup-plotters  were  still  held  under 
administrative  internment  and  asserted  that  their  continued 
detention  was  necessary  in  view  of  the  danger  they  pose  to 
public  safety.   This  is  the  first  time  in  years  that  a 
government  official  has  publicly  addressed  the  issue  of 
political  prisoners/detainees  held  without  trial  in  Cameroon. 

Traditional  courts  continue  to  play  an  important  role  in 
Cameroon,  particularly  in  rural  areas.   Their  authority  varies 
by  region  and  by  ethnic  group,  but  they  are  often  the  arbiters 
of  property  and  domestic  disputes  and  may  serve  a  probate 
function  as  well.   Most  systems  permit  appeal  of  first- 
instance  decisions  to  traditional  authorities  of  higher  rank. 

f .   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Both  invasions  of  the  home  and  tampering  with  correspondence 
are  violations  of  Cameroonian  law.   There  have  been  frequent 
reports  of  police  harassing  citizens  and  entering  homes 
without  warrants  during  periodic  searches  for  criminals. 
Police  officials  also  sometimes  enter  homes  and  demand  to  see 
receipts  for  household  property  as  a  customs  law  enforcement 
measure.   Surveillance  of  suspected  dissidents  and  the 
monitoring  of  their  mail  and  telephone  conversations  are 
common  practices. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Constitution  of  1972  provides  for  freedom  of  expression 
and  of  the  press,  but  Cameroonian  law  and  practice  restrict 
these  freedoms.   While  there  is  no  evidence  anyone  is  punished 
for  privately  criticizing  the  Government,  there  are  definite 
limits  to  public  speech. 

The  Government's  official  position  is  that  it  "supervises"  but 
does  not  "control"  the  press.   However,  officials  working  with 
the  media  have  referred  to  television,  radio,  and  the  press  as 
instruments  of  national  policy  to  be  used  by  the  State  in 
furtherance  of  its  aims.   The  Government  publishes  two 
official  newspapers,  the  English  and  French  editions  of  the 
Cameroon  Tribune,  and  controls  radio  (the  most  important 
medium)  and  television.   Most  official  journalists  are  civil 
servants  who  may  be  transferred  to  less  desirable  positions  if 
they  do  not  practice  self-censorship. 

Media  criticism  of  the  Government  invites  detention.   There 
have  been  several  cases  of  print  or  broadcast  journalists 
being  detained  after  pursuing  stories  critical  of  the 
Government  in  recent  years.   Early  in  1989,  for  example,  two 


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journalists  from  the  independent  press  were  detained  after 
publishing  a  story  recounting  the  reasons  for  a  local  town 
council's  vote  of  no-confidence  in  its  Mayor.   AI  noted  in  its 
1989  Report  that  there  seems  to  be  a  pattern  in  the  official 
use  of  detention  powers  as  a  means  of  intimidating 
journalists.   Despite  this,  the  number  and  frequency  of 
private  publications  rebounded  somewhat  in  late  1989.   No 
written  ground  rules  for  publication  exist.   The  independent 
press  enjoys  greater  latitude  in  covering  issues  than  the 
government-owned  press,  but  all  publications  are  still  subject 
to  official  censorship. 

Although  many  periodicals  carrying  articles  critical  of 
Cameroon's  Government  circulated  in  1989,  toward  the  end  of 
the  year  the  Government  seized  one  edition  of  a  foreign 
newsmagazine. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Freedom  of  assembly  and  association  are  provided  for  in  the 
Constitution  but  are  restricted  in  law  and  practice.   The 
penal  code  prohibits  public  meetings,  demonstrations,  or 
processions  without  prior  government  approval.   While  there 
have  been  no  reports  that  such  permits  have  been  denied,  large 
public  meetings  in  which  the  Government  plays  no  role  are 
virtually  unknown.   On  short  notice,  authorities  canceled  this 
year's  traditional  May  Day  parade  because  they  were  concerned 
that  the  unemployed  might  demonstrate.   Organizations  must 
register  with  the  Government;  any  form  of  opposition  political 
organization  is  effectively  prohibited. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Cameroon  is  a  secular  state.   There  is  no  established 
religion.   Roughly  20  percent  of  Cameroonians  are  Muslims,  30 
percent  are  Christians,  and  the  rest  follow  traditional 
beliefs.   Officials  of  the  Government  and  the  CPDM  include 
members  of  all  three  groups.   Freedom  of  religion  is  provided 
for  in  the  Constitution,  but  for  a  religious  group  to  exist 
and  to  function  legally,  it  must  be  approved  and  registered 
with  the  Ministry  of  Territorial  Administration.   There  have 
been  cases  in  the  past  of  a  small  group's  application  being 
rejected  on  the  grounds  that  it  was  too  nearly  identical  to  an 
existing  group.   The  Jehovah's  Witnesses  were  banned  in  1970 
and  have  been  periodic  targets  of  harassment  since  that  time. 

The  Government  does  not  discourage  the  practice  of  traditional 
religions.   Acts  of  witchcraft,  divination,  or  magic  "liable 
to  disrupt  public  order  or  tranquility,  or  to  harm  persons  or 
property"  are  outlawed,  with  potential  penalties  of  up  to  10 
years'  imprisonment. 

Missionaries  played  a  major  role  in  the  development  of 
Cameroon  and  continue  to  be  active.   Foreign  clergy  suffer  no 
ill-treatment.   There  are  no  particular  restrictions  on  places 
of  worship,  training  of  clergy,  conversion,  religious 
education,  or  religious  participation  in  charitable 
activities.   The  literacy  and  Bible  translation  organization, 
SIL,  operates  freely  and  plans  to  expand.   Independent 
Christian  and  Muslim  publications  exist  in  Cameroon,  and  there 
is  no  evidence  they  are  more  heavily  censored  than  is  the 
secular  press. 


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d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Freedom  of  movement  within  the  country  is  not  restricted  by 
law.   Police  continue  to  stop  travelers  to  check 
identification  documents,  vehicle  registrations,  and  tax 
receipts  as  a  security  and  immigration  control  measure,  though 
use  of  the  practice  declined  sharply  in  1989. 

Exit  visas  are  required  to  leave  the  country  and  are  sometimes 
obtained  only  after  long  delays.   The  Government  has  been 
known  to  refuse  issuance  of  a  passport  or  to  confiscate  a 
passport  in  order  to  control  someone  it  considers  a  real  or 
potential  threat.   Married  women  must  obtain  written  consent 
from  their  husbands  before  the  Government  will  issue  an  exit 
visa.   There  are  no  restrictions  on  voluntary  repatriation, 
and  there  is  no  forced  resettlement. 

Over  the  years,  Cameroon  has  served  as  a  safe  haven  for 
thousands  of  dispaced  persons  and  refugees.   Approximately 
35,000  refugees  remain  in  Cameroon,  the  majority  of  them 
Chadian.   The  United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees 
(UNHCR)  recognizes  about  4,100,  most  of  them  Chadian  or 
Namibian.   With  the  Chadian  conflict  largely  over,  many 
Chadians  have  returned.   As  of  September  30,  1989,  there  were 
3,622  Chadian  refugees  at  the  Poli-Faro  camp,  down  from  6,346 
at  the  beginning  of  the  year.   Many  of  the  Chadians  living 
outside  Poli-Faro  have  integrated  into  the  Cameroonian  economy 
and  do  not  receive  government  or  international  assistance. 
Though  Cameroon  occasionally  returns  illegal  Chadian 
immigrants,  there  were  no  confirmed  reports  of  forced 
repatriation  of  recognized  Chadian  refugees  in  1989.   Cameroon 
is  also  host  to  67  Namibian  students  and  400  other  refugees  of 
various  nationalities. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Because  Cameroon  continues  to  be  a  one-party  state  with 
political  power  and  administrative  responsibility  concentrated 
in  the  Presidency,  citizens  do  not  have  the  right  to  change 
the  Government  through  the  electoral  process.   The  President 
appoints  all  cabinet  ministers,  governors,  and  prefects. 
President  Biya  succeeded  constitutionally  to  the  office  of 
President  upon  the  resignation  of  former  President  Ahidjo,  and 
was  elected  unopposed  in  1984  and  1988. 

While  the  Constitution  does  not  explicitly  exclude  the 
existence  of  other  political  parties,  in  fact  only  the  CPDM  is 
permitted  to  operate.   Membership  in  the  CPDM  is  open  to  all 
religious  and  ethnic  groups  and  is  strongly  encouraged.   No 
one  attempted  to  gain  legal  recognition  for  a  second  political 
party  in  1989.   The  UPC  was  rebuffed  in  1985  when  it  sought 
such  legal  recognition.   Opposition  groups,  including  the  UPC 
and  the  Cameroon  Democratic  Party,  periodically  send  letters 
or  pamphlets  into  the  country  (usually  seized  by  customs 
officials)  or  are  heard  on  foreign  radio  broadcasts.   A  number 
of  former  UPC  members  are  now  active  in  the  CPDM. 

Some  within  the  CPDM  have  begun  to  advocate  greater  pluralism, 
but  it  is  unclear  whether  they  wish  to  make  room  for  other 
parties  or  are  merely  seeking  opportunities  for  broader  debate 
or  greater  influence  within  the  CPDM. 

All  members  of  the  180-seat  National  Assembly  must  be  members 


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Of  the  CPDM.   National  Assembly  elections  with  multiple 
candidacies  were  held  for  the  first  time  in  1988,  but  the  CPDM 
limited  the  number  of  candidates  per  constituency  to  two.   The 
next  elections  are  due  in  1993.   Voting  is  by  universal 
suffrage  and  secret  ballot.   The  1988  elections  took  place 
with  few  irregularities  and  no  allegations  of  fraud. 

Debate  in  the  National  Assembly  usually  remains  within  fairly 
narrow  parameters.   The  National  Assembly  has  not  formally 
rejected  a  major  government  initiative  in  recent  years. 
However,  the  behind-the-scenes  power  of  key  National  Assembly 
representatives  limits  the  Government's  freedom  of  action. 
Some  government  proposals  are  shelved  before  reaching  the 
stage  where  they  are  subject  to  formal  rejection. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  does  not  usually  respond  publicly  or  privately 
to  inquiries  from  any  human  rights  organization.   However,  in 
1989  a  government  official  responded  publicly  to  AI ' s  charge 
that  Cameroon  holds  political  prisoners  (see  Section  I.e.). 
The  Constitution  affirms  support  for  the  freedoms  guaranteed 
in  the  Universal  Declaration  of  Human  Rights  and  the  United 
Nations  Charter.   Under  President  Biya,  the  Government  has 
devoted  increased  attention  to  human  rights  in  such 
international  forums  as  the  United  Nations  and  the  Non-Aligned 
Movement.   Also,  Cameroon  has  submitted  reports  on  the  status 
of  human  rights  in  the  country  to  two  United  Nations 
committees . 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Access  to  the  Government's  social  programs  is  open  to  all 
Cameroonian  citizens  on  a  nondiscriminatory  basis.   President 
Biya  has  repeatedly  stressed  publicly  the  dangers  of 
tribalism,  but  there  remains  deep-seated  suspicion  among 
ethnic  groups.   Cameroon  is  officially  bilingual,  but 
Anglophones  are  a  distinct  minority  (20  percent)  and  often 
charge  that  the  majority  Francophones  discriminate  against 
them  by  denying  them  economic  opportunity  and  a  share  of  real 
political  power  commensurate  with  their  numbers.   The 
Bamileke,  the  country's  largest  single  ethnic  group  (between 
15  and  20  percent  of  the  population),  level  similar  charges 
against  the  rest  of  the  body  politic. 

Women  are  granted  equal  rights  under  the  Constitution,  and 
some  are  politically  active  in  the  party  and  the  sole  labor 
federation.   The  women's  wing  of  the  CPDM  has  developed 
programs  to  encourage  the  economic  and  social  productivity  of 
Cameroonian  women.   Women  are  increasingly  well  represented  in 
the  modern  wage  sector.   They  make  up  less  than  1  percent  of 
the  army  and  do  not  serve  in  the  navy  or  air  force.   They  may 
join  the  police  and  the  gendarmerie  but  make  up  a  very  small 
percentage  of  these  forces. 

Significant  cultural  pressure  is  brought  to  bear  on  women  to 
remain  subservient  to  men.   In  late  1989,  for  example,  a 
columnist  for  a  government-owned  newspaper  admonished  a  reader 
to  remember  "your  husband  is  the  direct  authority  the  lord  has 
placed  on  you."   Also,  the  Government  requires  a  husband's 
consent  before  his  wife  may  obtain  an  exit  visa  (see  Section 
2.d.),  a  policy  the  Government  asserts  is  intended  solely  to 


53 


CAMEROON 

preserve  and  strengthen  the  stability  of  family  life. 
Polygamy  is  permitted  by  law  and  tradition,  but  polyandry  is 
not . 

Hospital  reports  of  admissions  of  battered  women  indicate 
declining  violence  against  women,  at  least  in  urban  areas.   A 
government-owned  newspaper  in  late  1989  featured  a  readers' 
debate  on  the  pros  and  cons  of  wife  beating,  stating  in  its 
introduction  that  it  took  no  position  in  the  debate.   There 
are  no  reliable  statistics  on  the  extent  to  which  violence 
occurs.   In  crimes  of  passion,  men  are  sometimes  treated 
lightly  by  the  courts.   Violence  directed  against  women  in 
other  than  a  domestic  context  is  not  a  major  problem.   Female 
circumcision  is  not  common  in  Cameroon.   It  is  practiced  by  a 
limited  number  of  traditional  Muslim  families  and  is  almost 
unheard  of  in  other  groups. 

One  of  the  goals  of  the  sixth  5-year  plan  for  economic, 
social,  and  cultural  development  is  to  improve  educational 
opportunities  for  women.   The  percentage  of  female  secondary 
school  students  increased  45  percent  between  1970  and  1986. 
Girls  made  up  45.7  percent  of  primary  school  pupils  in  1986, 
but  their  percentage  drops  to  38.3  percent  at  the  secondary 
level.   Women  are  also  disadvantaged  in  access  to  higher 
education  (14  percent  of  students)  and  professional 
opportunities.   Regional  differences  in  access  to  education 
also  exist. 

Section  6   Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

The  labor  code  recognizes  the  right  of  workers  to  establish 
trade  unions  without  prior  authorization  and  to  join  trade 
unions  of  their  choosing.   In  practice,  there  is  but  one 
umbrella  organization  in  the  country,  the  Organization  of 
United  Cameroonian  Workers  (OCWU) ,  which  operates  parallel  to 
the  CPDM,  and  trade  unions  in  the  country  are  subordinate  to 
the  OCWU.   The  top  union  leadership  is  nominated  by  the 
Government.   The  OCWU  permitted  multiple  candidates  to  run  in 
worker  delegate  elections  in  late  1987  and  early  1988,  but  it 
retains  the  right  to  approve  candidacies,  thus  assuring 
political  orthodoxy.   The  OCWU  does  not  play  a  major  role  in 
Cameroonian  politics,  although  it  has  a  membership  of 
approximately  450,000  in  a  working  population  of  more  than  3 
million.   It  pursues  worker  grievances  and  seeks  improvements 
in  government  programs  for  worker  safety  and  training. 

Strikes  are  illegal,  and  political  activity  by  trade  unions, 
excepting  action  designed  to  protect  economic  and  other 
interests,  is  prohibited.   The  OCWU  is  a  member  of  the 
Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity.   The  OCWU  maintains 
contact  with  foreign  trade  union  organizations,  including  the 
American  Federation  of  Labor  and  Congress  of  Industrial 
Organizations,  but  such  contact  requires  government 
authorization. 

The  International  Labor  Organization's  (ILO)  Committee  of 
Experts  (COE)  observed  in  1989  that  various  legislative 
provisions,  which  regulate  the  right  of  public  servants  to 
organize,  restrict  their  right  to  strike,  and  ban  foreign 
workers  from  trade  union  office,  are  inconsistent  with  ILO 
Convention  87  on  Freedom  of  Association.   It  has  expressed  the 
hope  that  the  Government  will  amend  the  legislation  in  the 
near  future. 


54 


CAMEROON 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

The  labor  code  recognizes  the  right  of  trade  unions  or  trade 
union  federations  to  engage  in  collective  bargaining  with 
employers  or  groups  of  employers.   In  practice,  true 
collective  bargaining  between  employers  and  workers  is  rare, 
owing  to  the  small  size  of  the  modern  industrial  sector,  the 
small  number  of  large  employers,  and  the  involvement  of  the 
Government  in  the  process.   Under  the  law,  all  employers  of 
more  than  10  workers  must  permit  the  election  of  a  worker 
representative  from  among  the  employees.   This  individual  has 
a  statutory  right  to  discuss  labor  conditions  with  the 
employer  on  behalf  of  the  employees  and  enjoys  special 
protection  from  arbitrary  dismissal.   Candidates  for  these 
positions  must  be  approved  by  the  OCV«/U. 

There  are  no  export  processing  zones  in  Cameroon,  but  one  is 
in  the  planning  stage. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

While  forced  or  compulsory  labor  is  prohibited  by  law,  the  COE 
has  noted  that  provisions  of  the  labor  code,  the  law 
establishing  the  National  Civic  Service  for  participation  in 
development,  legislation  respecting  prisons,  and  the  Merchant 
Shipping  Code  are  in  violation  of  the  ILO  conventions  on 
forced  labor.   The  Government  has  stated  repeatedly  that 
amendments  to  bring  these  laws  into  compliance  with  ILO 
conventions  are  being  processed  or  are  under  study.   There 
have  been  reports  of  levies  of  communal  labor  being  employed 
in  some  traditional  societies. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  labor  code  sets  the  minimum  working  age  at  14,  a  rule 
which  appears  to  be  respected  in  the  modern  wage  sector. 
Labor  inspectors  are  empowered  to  enforce  provisions  of 
Cameroon's  labor  code,  as  are  labor  courts.   In  rural  areas 
where  farming  occupies  80  percent  of  Cameroon's  citizens, 
children  participate  at  early  ages  in  agricultural  work 
alongside  adults.   Street  vendors  in  urban  areas  are 
occasionally  under  age  14,  more  frequently  during  school 
vacations  than  at  other  times. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Under  the  labor  code,  the  minimum  annual  paid  vacation  is  18 
days,  and  the  legal  workweek  is  40  hours  for  nonagr icultural 
employees  and  up  to  48  hours  per  week  for  agricultural 
workers.   In  order  to  make  room  for  younger  workers,  civil 
servants  are  encouraged  to  retire  upon  reaching  the  minimum 
retirement  age  of  55.   Minimum  monthly  wages  are  set  by  the 
Government  for  all  public  and  private  sector  jobs.   Minimum 
wage  rates,  which  range  from  $62  to  $103  per  month,  are  based 
on  geographic  zones,  types  of  industry,  and  worker  seniority 
and  qualifications.   The  lowest  wages  are  insufficient  to 
support  a  family,  but  usually  are  supplemented  by  a  second  job 
or  another  family  member's  earnings.   Workers  with 
middle-range  wages  also  are  likely  to  need  second  incomes  to 
support  a  family,  especially  in  Yaounde  and  Douala. 

Occupational  safety  and  health  is  mandated  by  law,  based  on 
ILO  standards.   In  theory,  these  standards  are  enforced  by 
Ministry  of  Labor  inspectors  and  labor  courts,  but  they  lack 
the  means  for  effective  enforcement. 


55 


CAPE  VERDE 

Cape  Verde  is  ruled  by  the  African  Party  for  the  Independence 
of  Cape  Verde  (PAICV),  the  sole  legal  political  party,  under 
the  leadership  of  President  Aristides  Pereira.   Most 
government  ministers  are  also  senior  members  of  the  party,  and 
many  of  them  were  leaders  of  the  revolutionary  movement  to 
free  Cape  Verde  from  Portuguese  rule.   The  Constitution 
adopted  in  1980  declares  the  party  "the  supreme  expression  of 
the  interests  of  the  popular  masses."   Members  of  the  Popular 
National  Assembly,  which  is  formally  the  supreme  organ  of  the 
State,  are  elected  from  a  slate  of  candidates  proposed  to  the 
electorate  by  the  party.   The  Assembly  selects  the  President, 
who,  as  Head  of  State,  proposes  the  Prime  Minister  to  the 
Assembly.   The  Assembly  is  subordinate  to  the  executive;  it 
has  never  reversed  government/party  decisions,  although 
deputies  increasingly  debate  issues  openly,  and  critical  views 
are  often  reported  in  the  media. 

Security  responsibilities,  formerly  divided  between  the 
military,  the  security,  and  police  forces,  were  consolidated 
under  a  single  government  department  in  February  1986.   The 
reorganized  Ministry  of  Defense  and  Security  operates  under 
guidelines  and  leadership  approved  by  the  party.   A  largely 
voluntary  party  paramilitary  unit,  the  "Popular  Militias," 
supports  the  security  forces  and  has  been  accused  of  making 
arbitrary  arrests. 

Cape  Verde  has  few  natural  resources,  and  for  years  Cape 
Verdeans  have  emigrated  to  improve  their  economic  condition-- 
over  500,000  live  abroad.   A  20-year  drought  has  also  hindered 
Cape  Verde's  development  efforts  for  its  population  of 
400,000.   However,  heavy  summer  rains  in  1987  and  1988  may 
have  signaled  the  end  of  the  drought  and  promised  improvements 
in  the  agricultural  sector.   The  Government  is  the  largest 
nonagricultural  employer.   It  controls  banking,  the  import  of 
most  basic  commodities,  airlines,  the  press,  and  schools.   It 
depends  importantly  on  generous  foreign  assistance  and 
remittances  from  Cape  Verdean  emigrants. 

The  Constitution  bans  opposing  political  parties,  and  in 
practice  the  Government  uses  its  authority,  e.g.,  detention 
powers,  to  limit  opposing  views.  Freedom  of  speech,  press, 
and  assembly  and  association  are  not  technically  limited  by 
law  but  have  been  in  practice.  Discrimination  and  violence 
against  women  are  common.  There  were  no  known  political 
prisoners  held  at  the  end  of  1989. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  no  reported  instances  of  politically  motivated 
deaths,  but  one  jnan  died  while  in  official  custody  (see 
Section  i.e. ) . 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reported  instances  of  officially  inspired 
disappearances . 


24-900  O— 90 a 


56 


CAPE  VERDE 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Periodic  police  brutality  occurs   In  August  on  Maio  Island,  a 
man  died  in  police  custody,  allegedly  of  a  severe  beating; 
although  local  medical  authorities  determined  that  the  cause 
of  death  was  strangulation,  a  government-appointed  special 
commission  found  that  the  deceased,  a  former  mental  patient, 
killed  himself.   There  was  no  evidence  of  torture  or  other 
cruel  and  unusual  punishment  of  prisoners  and  detainees  in 
1989. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Cape  Verdean  law  requires  that  an  accused  person,  unless 
caught  in  the  act  of  committing  a  crime,  be  brought  before  a 
judge  to  be  charged  within  48  hours  of  arrest.   In  exceptional 
cases,  with  the  concurrence  of  a  court  official,  the  formal 
charge  process  may  be  delayed,  but  it  still  must  take  place 
within  5  days  of  arrest.   For  crimes  against  state  security, 
however,  persons  may  be  detained  for  up  to  5  months  without 
trial  upon  a  judge's  ruling.   This  loophole  is  occasionally 
abused,  and  cases  of  arbitrary  arrest  by  members  of  the 
"Popular  Militia,"  a  voluntary  paramilitary  party 
organization,  occur  periodically.   There  is  a  functioning 
system  of  bail,  and  everyone  is  entitled  to  representation  by 
an  attorney  in  civil  or  criminal  cases.   Those  unable  to 
afford  legal  counsel  are  represented  by  lawyers  named  by  the 
state-run  Lawyers'  Association. 

There  were  no  known  instances  of  forced  exile  for  political  or 
other  reasons.  With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see 
Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  judicial  system  is  composed  of  a  Supreme  Court,  whose 
members  are  appointed  by  the  Government,  regional  courts,  and 
local  popular  courts.   Trials  are  conducted  by  one  judge 
without  a  jury.   The  autonomous  Institute  for  Judicial 
Support,  to  which  most  private  lawyers  belong,  provides 
counsel  for  indigent  defendants.   Trials  appear  to  be  handled 
expeditiously,  and  evidence  suggests  that  the  courts  protect 
individual  rights  in  criminal  cases.   Verdicts  can  be  appealed. 

Appeals  to  the  Supreme  Court  are  common.   For  example,  in  June 
the  Supreme  Court  upheld  a  lower  court  decision  in  favor  of 
Teofilo  Santos  Silva,  allegedly  fired  from  the  Bank  of  Cape 
Verde  for  statements  vilifying  bank  leadership.   The  bank  was 
ordered  to  restore  Santos  to  his  former  position  or  to 
compensate  him  for  damages. 

The  popular  tribunals  adjudicate  minor  disputes  on  a  local 
level  in  rural  areas.   The  "judges,"  who  are  appointees  of  the 
Ministry  of  Justice,  are  usually  prominent  local  citizens 
without  legal  training.   Their  decisions  can  be  appealed 
within  the  regular  court  system. 

Political/security  cases  of  a  nonmilitary  nature  are  tried 
before  the  criminal  courts.   There  have  been  no  cases  tried  in 
recent  years,  and  there  were  no  known  political  prisoners  at 
the  end  of  1989. 


57 


CAPE  VERDE 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
.  Correspondence 

The  Constitution  recognizes  citizens'  rights  to  the 
inviolability  of  domicile,  correspondence,  and  other  means  of 
communication.   The  law  requires  warrants  issued  by  a  judge 
before  searches  of  homes  may  be  conducted.   In  practice,  these 
rights  are  observed. 

Section  2  Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Constitution  proclaims  freedom  of  speech  and  intellectual 
creativity,  including  the  rights  of  authorship,  but  it  also 
stipulates  that  none  of  these  rights  and  freedoms  may  be 
exercised  "contrary  to  national  unity."   While  freedom  of  the 
press  is  not  specifically  guaranteed  by  the  Constitution,  a 
law  adopted  in  December  1985  assures  citizens  the  right  to 
express  their  thoughts  in  the  press,  but  at  the  same  time  the 
party  underlined  that  this  right  should  be  exercised 
responsibly.   People  rarely  criticize  the  Government 
publicly.   Debate  in  Parliament  is  lively,  but  within  the 
accepted  one-party  system. 

The  newspaper  Voz  di  Povo,  radio,  and  television  are 
government  owned.   Occasional  articles  critical  of  some 
aspects  of  government  policy  are  printed  or  broadcast,  but 
this  is  probably  done  with  prior  authorization  from  the 
Government.   Local  radio  broadcasts  carry  items  from  Western 
news  agencies  as  well  as  from  Communist  countries,  generally 
balancing  coverage  and  identifying  sources  on  controversial 
international  issues.   In  1989  the  PAICV  Third  Congress 
granted  limited  autonomy  to  the  National  Press,  a  publishing 
house  formerly  controlled  entirely  by  the  party  leadership. 

A  Catholic  monthly  newspaper,  which  has  carried  criticism  of 
some  aspects  of  life  in  Cape  Verde,  is  tolerated  without 
interference  as  long  as  its  articles  are  not  viewed  as  a 
threat  to  the  Government.   On  occasion,  the  editor  and 
contributors  have  been  called  before  popular  tribunals  to 
explain  their  articles.   There  is  also  a  monthly  newspaper, 
Noticias,  published  in  Mindelo  which,  since  its  inception  in 
1988,  has  followed  an  independent  editorial  policy. 

Foreign  periodicals  generally  circulate  freely  in  Cape  Verde 
even  when  they  contain  articles  critical  of  or  unflattering  to 
the  Government,  as  is  sometimes  the  case  with  Portuguese 
newspapers.   International  radio  broadcasts  are  received 
clearly  without  interference. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  freedom  to  meet,  to  associate  freely,  and  to  demonstrate 
is  provided  for  in  the  Constitution,  but  as  a  practical  matter 
no  organizations  opposed  to  the  Government  or  its  policies  are 
permitted.   Party-sponsored  "mass  organizations"  of  women  and 
youth  are  prominent.   For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of 
association  as  it  applies  to  labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

The  Constitution  requires  separation  of  church  and  state. 
Freedom  of  worship  is  respected  by  the  Government,  and  members 
of  all  faiths  practice  their  religion  without  harassment.   At 


58 


CAPE  VERDE 

least  two-thirds  of  the  population,  probably  including  most  of 
the  government  and  party  leadership,  are  nominally  Catholic, 
but  the  predotninance  of  Catholicism  does  not  appear  to  affect 
adversely  other  faiths.   Evangelical  Protestants  and 
Seventh-Day  Adventist  are  the  two  other  principal  religious 
communities . 

At  least  two  faiths,  the  Baha'i  and  Christian  Science,  which 
were  formally  banned  or  suppressed  under  the  Portuguese,  have 
been  permitted  to  reestablish  themselves  and  operate  freely 
since  independence.   There  are  no  restrictions  on  religious 
practices,  teaching,  or  contacts  with  coreligionists  outside 
Cape  Verde.   The  Catholic  Church,  for  example,  openly  opposes 
birth  control  methods  which  are  advocated  and  supported  by  the 
Government.   A  few  foreign  missionaries  are  active  in  Cape 
Verde,  and  more  than  half  the  Catholic  clergy  are  non-Cape 
Verdeans.   Cape  Verdean  consular  law  requires,  however,  that 
missionaries  applying  for  residency  belong  to  a  denomination 
with  a  recognized  membership  in  Cape  Verde.   In  this  context, 
two  American  Mormon  missionaries  were  asked  to  leave  Cape 
Verde  in  September  after  their  visitor's  visas  expired. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

There  are  no  extraordinary  legal  or  administrative 
restrictions  on  either  travel  or  residence  within  the 
country.   All  resident  Cape  Verdeans  wishing  to  leave  the 
country,  either  temporarily  or  permanently,  must  obtain  exit 
permission  from  the  Government.   Such  permission  has  not  been 
denied  for  political  reasons.   Emigration  has  long  been  an 
important  and  recognized  alternative  for  those  wishing  to 
escape  the  prevailing  harsh  economic  conditions. 

The  Government  goes  to  considerable  effort  to  maintain  close 
contact  with  emigre  communities  and  provides  every  opportunity 
for  Cape  Verdeans  living  abroad  to  maintain  their  ties  with 
the  homeland,  including  making  provision  to  vote  in 
elections.   Repatriation  is  a  constitutional  right,  and  the 
Government  does  not  discourage  intending  repatriates. 

The  law  allows  for  revocation  of  citizenship  on  several 
grounds,  including  activities  contrary  to  the  interest  of  the 
country.   However,  there  are  no  known  cases  of  the  Government 
instituting  proceedings  to  deprive  persons  of  citizenship  for 
political  reasons. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  party's  monopoly  of  power  in  Cape  Verde  is  specified  in 
the  Constitution.   Opposition  parties  are  illegal  and  do  not 
exist.   Therefore,  citizens  are  unable  to  change  the  one-party 
political  system  through  a  democratic  process. 

At  the  national  level,  government  officials  are  selected  by 
the  party,  and  senior  leaders  are  selected  from  among  the 
small  group  of  men  who  actually  led  the  struggle  for 
independence.   The  Secretary  General  of  the  party  is  President 
of  the  Republic,  the  Deputy  Secretary  General  is  Prime 
Minister,  and  the  third-ranking  party  official  is  President  of 
the  National  Assembly.   Five  other  members  of  the  party's 
political  commission  are  also  ministers.   Not  all  ministers  or 
secretaries  of  state  are  party  members,  but  all  clearly  serve 
at  the  pleasure  of  the  party. 


59 


CAPE  VERDE 

Current  party  membership  is  about  6,000,  which  is  about  4 
percent  of  the  total  adult  population  and  represents  a 
doubling  in  size  since  independence  in  1975.   Within  this 
elitist  party,  there  exists  a  modest  scope  for  meaningful 
political  activity.   The  delegates  to  the  Third  Party  Congress 
in  1989  were  elected  by  secret  ballot,  and  the  party  announced 
plans  to  allow  free  elections  of  certain  local  officials, 
whether  candidates  are  party  members  or  not. 

Twice-yearly  National  Assembly  sessions  serve  to  ratify — 
never  reverse — earlier  party/government  decisions. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  in  the  past  has  permitted  visits  by  private 
organizations  to  investigate  conditions  of  persons  convicted 
for  political  or  related  offenses.   There  are  no  known 
official  or  nongovernmental  human  rights  organizations  in  the 
country;  none  critical  of  the  Government  would  be  permitted. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Racial  discrimination  is  not  a  serious  problem  in  Cape  Verde, 
where  the  vast  majority  of  the  population  shares  various 
proportions  of  Portuguese  and  African  ancestry.   Sex 
discrimination  exists,  although  it  is  prohibited  by  the 
Constitution.   Many  traditional,  male-oriented  values  of  the 
Portuguese  and  African  ancestors  of  today's  Cape  Verdeans  are 
still  part  of  the  country's  culture. 

The  Code  of  the  Family,  enacted  in  October  1981,  prescribes 
the  full  equality  of  men  and  women  in  law,  including  equal  pay 
for  equal  work,  but  in  practice  women  customarily  have  been 
excluded  from  certain  types  of  employment  and  are  often  paid 
less  than  men.   Both  the  Government  and  the  party  are  making 
efforts  to  bring  women  into  various  economic  and  social 
activities  where  they  have  been  traditionally  absent, 
including  in  the  labor-intensive  economic  development 
projects.   The  Organization  of  Cape  Verdean  Women  was  founded 
in  1980,  with  party  encouragement,  to  sensitize  Cape  Verdeans 
to  issues  affecting  women. 

Domestic  violence  against  women  remains  extremely  common. 
Crimes  such  as  rape  and  wife  beatings  are  largely  ignored  by 
police  and  are  rarely  brought  to  trial.   Even  then,  penalties 
for  first  offenders  are  usually  suspended,  and  physical  and 
psychological  retaliation  against  a  woman  who  wins  such  a 
trial  is  the  norm.   Government  efforts  are  occasionally  made 
to  increase  women's  awareness  of  their  legal  rights,  such  as 
in  special  periodic  television  or  radio  programs  addressing 
these  issues,  but  these  programs  rarely  reach  the  rural  women 
most  strongly  affected  by  such  crimes. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

The  right  of  association  is  limited.   Workers  in  several 
sectors  are  organized  into  unions  within  the  Central  Sindical 
(UNTC-CS) .   The  trade  union  central  is  affiliated  with  the 
PAICV  and  headed  by  a  high-ranking  party  member.   About 
one-third  of  the  active  work  force  are  nominal  members  of  the 


60 


UNTC-CS.   Individual  unions  perform  some  traditional  trade 
union  functions  and  act  also  as  party  affiliates. 

There  is  no  reference  to  the  right  to  strike  in  the 
Constitution  or  in  any  legislation.   In  the  absence  of  any 
legal  prohibition  against  strikes,  the  NUC  believes  that  the 
right  to  strike  exists,  but  it  has  never  exercised  this 
theoretical  right.   Union  leadership  has  taken  positions  on 
specific  issues  in  opposition  to  government  policies  in  state- 
owned  enterprises. 

The  UNTC-CS  is  affiliated  with  the  Organization  of  African 
Trade  Union  Unity,  in  whose  councils  it  has  never  taken 
positions  independent  of  those  officially  sanctioned  by  the 
Government.   It  maintains  contact  with  and  receives  assistance 
from  both  Communist  and  non-Communist  national  unions  abroad. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Unions  are  by  law  the  designated  means  by  which  workers  are 
represented.   The  right  of  unions  to  function  without 
hindrance  is  mandated.   Howevei;,  there  is  no  true  collective 
bargaining.   Wages  for  government  employees  are  set  by  the 
Ministerial  Council.   Wages  for  state  enterprises  are  proposed 
by  the  ministry  controlling  the  state  enterprise  and  approved 
by  the  Ministerial  Council.   Labor  laws  require  that  private 
companies  pay  the  prevailing  wage,  which  usually  implies  the 
wage  that  is  paid  in  the  Government  and  state  enterprises. 
The  UNTC-CS  and  the  unions  have  influence  in  the  process. 
There  are  no  export  processing  zones  in  Cape  Verde. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Forced  or  compulsory  labor  is  constitutionally  prohibited  and 
is  not  practiced  in  Cape  Verde. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  minimum  age  for  employment  is  14,  and  children  under  16 
are  prohibited  from  working  at  night,  more  than  7  hours  per 
day,  or  in  establishments  where  toxic  products  are  used.   All 
enterprises  submit  a  yearly  report  to  the  Director  General  of 
Labor  with  information  on  the  salary  and  ages  of  each 
employee.   There  is  no  inspection  mechanism. 


e.   Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Minimum  wage  rates  are  established  by  the  Government  for  both 
civil  servants  and  private  enterprises.   As  of  January  1, 
1987,  the  minimum  wage  for  civil  servants  was  approximately 
$84  per  month.   Wages  for  unskilled  workers  are  considerably 
lower,  and  in  rural  areas  the  daily  minimum  for  the  least 
skilled  types  of  labor  is  about  $1.62  per  day.   In  most 
circumstances,  a  family  cannot  survive  on  a  single  minimum 
wage.   Multiple  incomes,  shared  housing,  and  extended  families 
help  bridge  the  gap  for  many  minimum  wage  earners. 

There  does  not  appear  to  be  an  overall  safety  and  health 
code.   The  normal  workweek  for  adults  is  44  hours  over  5  1/2 
days.   A  worker  is  entitled  to  at  least  1  free  day  per  week. 
These  regulations  seem  to  be  respected  in  practice,  but  there 
is  no  enforcement  mechanism. 


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CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 


The  Central  African  Republic  (C.A.R.)  is  a  one-party  state  in 
which  General  Andre  Dieudonne  Kolingba  has  exercised  virtually 
full  political  control  since  his  accession  to  power  in  a 
bloodless  coup  on  September  1,  1981.   In  1986  President 
Kolingba  established  the  only  legal  political  party,  the 
Central  African  Democratic  Assembly  (RDC),  and  introduced  a 
new  Constitution,  which  was  subsequently  approved  in  a 
national  referendum.   In  that  same  vote  he  was  elected  without 
opposition  to  a  6-year  term  as  President.   The  new 
Constitution  established  a  directly  elected  parliament 
(National  Assembly)  and  an  advisory  body  known  as  the  Economic 
and  Regional  Council.   Both  have  met  regularly  since  1987. 

The  Ministry  of  Defense  controls  a  military  police  force 
(Gendarmerie  Nationale),  in  addition  to  the  armed  forces, 
which  number  about  3,800.   These  forces  share  internal 
security  responsibilities  with  the  civilian  police  force 
(Police  Nationale)  under  the  Ministry  of  Interior,  which  is 
responsible  for  policing  major  roads  and  keeping  records  of 
the  movement  of  vehicles.   The  Presidency  has  its  own  security 
force,  which  has  collateral  responsibility  with  the  border 
police  for  airport  security. 

The  C.A.R.  is  a  poor,  landlocked,  and  sparsely  populated 
country,  most  of  whose  inhabitants  derive  their  livelihood 
from  subsistence  agriculture.   The  essentially  agrarian 
economy  has  suffered  in  the  past  from  ineffective  government 
fiscal  and  developmental  policies  and  adverse  global  trends. 
Since  1982  the  Government  has  tried  to  implement  economic 
structural  reforms  in  cooperation  with  international  donors. 
However,  with  continuing  unfavorable  world  economic  trends, 
progress  has  remained  elusive. 

Human  rights  remained  restricted  in  1989.   The  Government  did 
release  several  political  prisoners,  including  a  journalist, 
and  moved  to  put  into  effect  a  law  authorizing  the  resumption 
of  trade  union  activity.   However,  the  Government  took  further 
action  to  repress  the  religious  activities  of  the  Jehovah's 
Witnesses  and  two  other  religious  groups.   In  September,  under 
unexplained  circumstances,  the  Government  brought  back  from 
Benin  12  former  dissidents,  arrested  them  on  arrival,  and  held 
them  without  charge  throughout  the  remainder  of  1989. 
Principal  human  rights  problems  continued  to  be  mistreatment 
of  prisoners  and  detainees,  arbitrary  detentions,  intrusive 
surveillance  of  political  opponents,  and  restrictions  on 
freedom  of  speech  and  press,  association,  the  right  of 
citizens  to  change  their  government,  women's  and  minority 
rights,  and  worker  rights. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1  Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  have  been  no  reports  of  killings  or  executions  for 
political  motives  by  government  forces,  although  at  least  one 
death  from  mistreatment  while  in  official  custody  occurred 
(see  Section  I.e.). 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  disappearance. 


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CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  Penal  Code  prohibits  torture  and  provides  for  sanctions 
against  those  found  guilty  of  physical  abuse.  Nonetheless, 
there  are  reports  of  police  beatings  of  criminals  or  suspects. 

Family  members,  legal  counsel,  doctors,  and  clergy  generally 
have  access  to  prisoners,  including  prominent  political 
detainees.   The  latter  frequently  receive  special  privileges, 
including  permission  to  leave  the  prison  periodically. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Under  Central  African  law,  political  detainees  may  be  held 
without  charge  for  as  long  as  2  months  but  must  then  be 
formally  charged  or  released.   In  regular  cases,  those 
arrested  must  be  brought  within  96  hours  before  a  magistrate, 
who  decides  whether  formal  charges  will  be  filed.   In 
practice,  this  limit  is  often  exceeded  owing  to  inefficiencies 
in  judicial  procedures.   No  system  of  bail  exists.   When 
political  detainees  are  charged,  local  judicial  procedures 
(which  are  modeled  on  the  French  system)  allow  for  open-ended 
preventive  detention  while  the  public  prosecutor  prepares  the 
state's  case  against  the  accused. 

The  exact  number  of  political  detainees  and  political 
opponents  in  exile  is  not  available.   During  high-security 
events,  the  Government  controls  the  activities  of  about  10 
opponents,  particularly  supporters  of  former  Emperor  Bokassa, 
by  holding  them  under  house  or  village  arrest  until  the  event 
is  over.   Four  students  arrested  in  September  1988  for  alleged 
but  unspecified  political  reasons  were  released  soon 
thereafter  without  any  known  charges  having  been  brought 
against  them. 

It  is  the  Government's  announced  policy  to  encourage 
dissidents  to  return  to  the  C.A.R.;  several  former  opponents 
of  the  regime  have  returned  and  been  appointed  to  high 
positions  in  the  Government.   In  late  August,  a  government 
opponent.  Gen.  Francois  Bozize,  and  11  followers  returned  from 
Benin.   It  is  not  clear  whether  they  were  forcibly  expelled 
from  Benin,  but  all  were  taken  into  custody  upon  arrival  in 
the  C.A.R.  and  were  in  detention  awaiting  trial  at  the  end  of 
1989. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

j'      e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  judiciary  consists  of  regular  and  military  courts,  with 
the  Supreme  Court  at  the  apex.   In  most  cases  involving  common 
criminals,  the  Government  permits  legal  procedures  modeled 
after  French  Law  to  be  fairly  and  openly  applied,  although 
execution  of  the  law  is  hampered  by  inadequate  training  of 
officials  and  persistent  traditional  beliefs  regarding 
witchcraft  and  sorcery  that  sometimes  take  precedence  over 
strict  rules  of  evidence.   The  accused  have  a  right  to  legal 
counsel  at  all  stages  in  the  formal  procedures  and  have  the 
right  of  appeal. 

:    In  1988  a  High  Court  of  Justice  was  created  to  try  political 
prisoners,  replacing  the  Special  Tribunal  of  civilian 
♦    magistrates  and  military  advisers  which  had  adjudicated 

political  cases  from  1981  to  1987.   It  functions  in  much  the 


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CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 

same  manner  as  the  ordinary  courts,  except  there  is  no  right 
of  appeal,  although  the  possibility  of  presidential  clemency 
exists.   No  cases  have  yet  come  before  this  Court,  although  a 
president  of  the  court  was  named  in  October. 

The  number  of  political  prisoners  is  unknown.   Political 
opponent  Ruth  Rolland  was  released  from  prison  in  September  by 
a  Presidential  Decree  of  General  Clemency.   Rolland  had  been 
tried,  convicted,  and  imprisoned  for  distributing  tracts 
critical  of  the  Government.   She  was  rearrested  on  December  16 
on  unspecified  charges. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Government  interference  with  privacy  is  common  only  in 
political  and  security  cases.   The  law  formally  prohibits  the 
invasion  of  the  home  without  a  warrant,  and  this  prohibition 
is  not  generally  abused  in  civil  and  criminal  cases.   If  a 
political  crime  is  considered  to  be  involved,  police  are 
allowed  to  search  private  property  without  written 
authorization.   The  consensus  among  Central  Africans  is  that 
their  Government  can  and  does  keep  a  close  watch  on  any 
citizen  who  opposes  or  appears  to  oppose  it,  but  government 
surveillance  is  rare  in  practice. 

To  combat  increasing  local  crime,  including  robbery  and 
assault,  citizens'  action  groups,  called  vigilance  committees, 
were  created  by  the  RDC.   These  committees,  consisting  of  20 
volunteers  per  neighborhood,  patrol  the  streets  and  have  the 
right  to  stop  and  hold  suspected  criminals  briefly  before 
handing  them  over  to  the  police.   A  code  of  conduct  guides 
committee  members,  forbidding  them,  for  example,  from  invading 
private  property  or  acting  in  the  capacity  of  a  police 
officer.   In  September  the  RDC  decided  to  establish  vigilance 
committees  throughout  the  country. 

Civil  servants  are  not  required  to  be  party  members,  but  there 
are  strong  social  pressures  to  join,  particularly  in  the  case 
of  those  holding  higher  level  positions. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  right  of  private  citizens  to  speak  publicly  about 
political  developments  or  to  criticize  the  Government  is 
circumscribed,  although  most  people  feel  free  to  comment 
privately  on  political  affairs.   The  National  Assembly 
Tprovides  a  limited  forum  for  public  discussion  of  government 
policies . 

Newspapers,  radio,  and  television  are  all  government  owned  and 
controlled.   Domestic  news  favors  upbeat  stories  and 
noncontroversial  events.   Reporting  on  international  news  is 
selective  and  tends  to  avoid  events  that  may  be  embarrassing 
to  friendly  foreign  governments. 

Thomas  Kwazo,  a  journalist  serving  a  3-year  sentence  for 
filing  an  "unauthorized"  story,  was  released  following  the 
September  Clemency  Decree  for  various  prisoners. 


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CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Despite  constitutional  guarantees  of  the  right  to  assembly, 
only  assemblies  of  a  nonpolitical  nature  can  take  place 
without  government  approval.   Groups  that  register  with  the 
Ministry  of  Interior  can  hold  meetings.   Government  forces 
quickly  disband  unlawful  assemblies  and,  in  some  instances, 
arrest  the  participants. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

A  variety  of  religious  groupings  are  active  in  the  country 
(approximately  35  percent  traditional  African,  50  percent 
Christian,  15  percent  Muslim).   Religious  organizations  and 
missionary  groups  are  generally  provided  religious  freedom  by 
Central  African  custom.   However,  any  group  whose  behavior  is 
considered  political  in  nature  is  quickly  stifled.   In  1986 
the  Jehovah's  Witnesses  were  banned  by  the  Minister  of  the 
Interior  for  alleged  advocacy  of  civil  disobedience.   This 
restriction  was  only  partially  enforced,  and  Witnesses 
continued  to  congregate  quietly  for  religious  services  in 
private  homes.   In  April  1989,  about  100  participants  at  such 
a  meeting  in  Bangui  were  rounded  up  and  detained  by  police 
under  direct  supervision  of  the  Minister  of  the  Interior. 
Most  were  released  within  2  days;  the  others  a  few  days 
later.   The  last  four  foreign  Witnesses  remaining  in  the 
country  were  expelled  shortly  afterward.   Other  religious 
groups  also  have  been  affected.   In  February  the  Minister  of 
the  Interior  suspended  the  activities  of  the  Fraternal  Union 
of  Baptist  Churches  on  unspecified  grounds.   It  resumed  its 
activities  in  July.   In  September  he  suspended  indefinitely 
the  activities  of  the  Union  of  Evangelical  Pentecostal 
Churches  for  "irresponsible  conduct."   It  remained  suspended 
at  the  end  of  1989. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

People  are  generally  free  to  move  about  within  the  country. 
There  are  police  checkpoints  along  major  roads  which  sometimes 
present  an  obstacle  to  travelers  unwilling  or  unable  to  pay 
bribes  expected  by  some  officials. 

The  right  of  voluntary  travel  and  repatriation  is  recognized. 
Financial  and  educational  constraints,  rather  than  government 
controls,  act  to  restrict  most  foreign  travel  and  emigration. 
There  were  no  known  cases  of  revocation  of  citizenship. 

A  reduction  of  political  tensions  in  Chad  since  1985  prompted 
many  Chadian  refugees  in  the  C.A.R.  to  return  to  their 
homeland  voluntarily.   Their  number  in  the  C.A.R.  declined  in 
1989  to  less  than  3,000,  from  a  high  of  45,000  in  1984-85. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  do  not  have  the  ability  to  change  their  government 
through  democratic  means.   The  power  and  prerogatives  of  the 
President  and  the  sole  party  are  not  subject  to  change  from 
below.   There  has  been  progress  in  expanding  participation  in 
the  political  process.   The  President  makes  all  important 
national  policy  decisions,  althouah  he  allows  his  raH;--"- 


65 


CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 

considerable  leeway  in  day-to-day  activities  of  government 
administration.   The  President  is  also  head  of  the  party,  the 
RDC.   Approval  of  the  RDC  is  required  in  order  to  run  for 
political  office,  including  the  National  Assembly. 

The  Constitution  grants  the  National  Assembly,  elected  by 
secret  ballot  in  free  elections,  the  authority  to  debate  and 
vote  on  bills  proposed  by  the  executive  and  to  initiate 
legislation  of  its  own.   Deputies  are  promised  immunity  from 
prosecution  or  other  government  interference  for  opinions 
voiced  or  votes  cast  during  the  exercise  of  their  duties  in 
the  National  Assembly.   Assembly  sessions  in  1989  were  marked 
by  occasional  frank  criticisms  of  government  policy,  and  for 
the  first  time  the  Assembly  considered  budgetary  matters. 
Virtually  all  measures  proposed  by  the  Government  eventually 
were  adopted  by  nearly  unanimous  votes  after  significant 
amendments  by  the  Assembly.   In  March  the  Deputies  elected  a 
new  Assembly  President. 

Elections  for  municipal  councilors  were  held  in  May  1988.   In 
the  seven  largest  towns,  the  Ministry  of  the  Interior  chose 
one  member  of  the  elected  municipal  council  to  serve  as 
mayor.   In  all  other  municipalities  the  mayors  were,  at  least 
in  theory,  elected  by  the  municipal  councils;  but  in  several 
cases  the  councils  were  overruled  by  the  Ministry  of  the 
Interior . 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

There  are  no  local  organizations  to  monitor  human  rights 
issues.   However,  the  Government  does  permit  representatives 
of  Amnesty  International  and  the  International  Committee  of 
the  Red  Cross  to  visit  Bangui  periodically.   The  Government 
also  permitted  an  October  visit  of  an  International  Labor 
Organization  (ILO)  mission  to  investigate  allegations  of 
worker  rights  abuses  (Section  6.a.).  Union  representatives 
indicated  the  visit  went  well.   The  Government  plans  to  host 
in  January  1990  a  conference  on  human  rights  sponsored  by  the 
International  Committee  on  African  Human  Rights. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  Constitution  mandates  that  all  persons  are  equal  before 
the  law  without  regard  to  wealth,  race,  or  religion.   In 
practice,  some  minorities  tend  to  receive  unequal  treatment, 
e.g.,  the  forest-dwelling  Bamingua,  commonly  known  as  pygmies, 
are  subject  to  discrimination  and  exploitation  which  the 
Government  has  done  little  to  correct. 

There  are  more  than  80  ethnic  groups  in  the  Central  African 
Republic,  with  about  70  percent  of  the  population  being 
Ngbaka,  Baya,  or  Banda.   While  President  Kolingba  has  made 
statements  about  the  desirability  of  an  ethnic  balance  in  his 
Cabinet,  preference  for  high  government  and  military  positions 
has  been  given  to  members  of  his  Yakoma  ethnic  group 
(approximately  10  percent  of  the  population).   Each  ethnic 
group  has  its  own  language,  but  the  Sangho  language  is  spoken 
throughout  the  country. 

Although  the  Constitution  affirms  the  equality  of  all 
citizens,  women  have  traditionally  been  accorded  fewer 
opportunities  than  men.   Certain  jobs  remain  closed  to  women, 


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CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 

such  as  service  in  the  gendarmerie.   There  are  no  precise  data 
on  the  percentage  of  women  in  the  paid  labor  force.   Many  are 
involved  in  traditional  labor — gathering  food  and  firewood  and 
keeping  house — while  others  are  in  commerce  as  market 
vendors.   Educated  women  working  outside  the  home  typically 
find  clerical  jobs,  but  some  are  gradually  moving  into 
professional  positions. 

Polygamy  is  legally  sanctioned,  although  increasingly  fewer 
women  accept  the  practice.   A  prospective  husband  must 
indicate  at  the  time  of  the  marriage  contract  whether  he 
intends  to  take  further  wives.   Divorce  is  legal  in  the  C.A.R. 
and  may  be  initiated  by  either  partner. 

Violence  against  women,  including  wife  beating,  occurs,  but  it 
is  difficult  to  gauge  the  extent  of  the  problem,  as  it  is 
seldom  officially  reported.   The  Ministry  of  Justice  does  not 
generally  hear  many  cases  from  people  complaining  of  spouse 
abuse,  although  the  issue  does  come  up  during  divorce  trials 
or  in  civil  suits  for  damages.   Most  often,  women  will 
tolerate  abuse  in  order  to  retain  a  measure  of  financial 
security  for  themselves  and  their  children. 

Female  genital  mutilation  (circumcision)  has  been  forbidden  by 
law  since  the  1960's,  but  it  is  practiced  by  some  ethnic 
groups.   Enforcement  of  the  prohibition  is  rare  as  it  is 
basically  considered  a  private,  family  matter.   It  is 
practiced  in  rural  areas  and,  to  a  lesser  degree,  in  the 
Muslim  quarters  of  Bangui.   Many  urban  dwellers  consider  it  an 
outdated  custom. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

A  7-year  suspension  of  most  trade  union  activity  ended  on  May 
19,  1988,  when  a  law  concerning  trade  union  freedom  and  the 
protection  of  union  rights  was  adopted.   The  new  law  provides 
employees  and  employers  the  right  to  establish  and  join 
organizations  of  their  own  choosing,  to  draw  up  their  own 
constitution  and  rules,  to  elect  their  own  representatives, 
and  to  formulate  their  program  of  action.   Implementation  of 
the  law  was  delayed  nearly  a  year  while  the  Government  drafted 
detailed  regulations  and  guidelines. 

On  May  1,  1989,  the  law  entered  into  full  force,  and  the 
Minister  of  Labor  gave  workers  throughout  the  country  official 
permission  to  begin  organizing.   The  Government  determined 
that  all  trade  union  activity  should  begin  from  the  ground  up 
with  elections  organized  by  profession  and  place  of  work. 
Only  after  all  major  trade  unions  are  in  place  will  workers  be 
permitted  to  convene  a  congress  to  set  up  a  National 
Federation.   Once  the  law  had  entered  into  force,  teachers, 
civil  servants,  and  employees  at  most  of  the  large  factories 
and  businesses  in  the  capital,  Bangui,  met  in  groups  organized 
by  profession  and  place  of  work  in  order  to  elect 
representatives  and  draft  statutes  for  their  union  locals.   By 
the  end  of  November,  50  unions  had  held  elections,  37  of  them 
had  submitted  their  statutes  to  the  Ministry  of  the  Interior, 
and  28  of  them  had  been  officially  recognized.   The  other  9 
are  still  in  process.   The  Procurator  and  the  Ministry  of 
Labor  retain  the  right  to  review  the  statutes  for  compliance 
with  labor  legislation.   Encouraged  by  their  official 
recognition,  local  unions  have  stepped  up  their  activities  and 
plan  to  send  a  committee  outside  of  Bangui  to  organize  unions 


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CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 

on  a  regional  level.   Two  seats  for  labor  representatives  are 
reserved  on  the  Economic  and  Regional  Council. 

The  new  law  permits  strikes  when  all  efforts  at  conciliation 
have  failed.   It  also  allows  unions  to  become  affiliated  with 
international  labor  organizations;  even  during  the  1981-88  ban 
on  union  activity  some  labor  leaders  continued  to  attend 
international  labor  congresses. 

Despite  this  progress,  there  are  unresolved  problems  with  the 
1988  law  as  written,  e.g.,  restrictive  membership  requirements 
and  the  uncertain  role  of  federations.   In  June  the  ILO 
Committee  of  Experts  on  Applications  of  Conventions  and 
Recommendations  took  note  of  recent  changes  outlined  by  the 
Government's  representative,  but  determined  that  C.A.R. 
compliance  with  ILO  conventions  could  only  be  assessed  by  a 
direct  contacts  mission.   A  visit  by  such  a  mission  took  place 
in  October.   The  mission's  report  had  not  been  made  public  by 
the  end  of  1989. 

In  April  the  U.S.  Government  announced  the  suspension  of 
certain  trade  privileges  accorded  the  C.A.R. ,  based  largely  on 
the  C.A.R.  Government's  failure  to  respect  freedom  of 
association  since  1981. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

The  1988  union  law,  which  applies  throughout  the  country, 
accords  trade  unions  full  legal  status,  including  the  right  to 
own  property  and  to  sue  in  court.   Employers  are  forbidden 
from  discriminating  against  workers  on  the  basis  of  union 
membership  or  union  activity,  and  infractions  can  result  in 
the  assessment  of  legal  damages.   It  is  too  early  to  tell 
whether,  or  how  effectively,  these  provisions  will  be 
enforced.   Mechanisms  for  collective  bargaining  spelled  out  in 
the  1961  Labor  Code  fell  into  disuse  during  the  ban  on  union 
activity  and  had  not  yet  been  revived  in  late  1989.   The  1988 
law  does  not  specifically  address  whether  trade  unions  may 
engage  in  collective  bargaining.   There  are  no  export 
processing  zones. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

The  ILO  Committee  of  Experts  has  for  some  years  noted 
"considerable  divergencies"  between  legislation  and  practice 
in  the  C.A.R.  with  respect  to  Conventions  No.  29  and  105  on 
forced  labor.   The  Government  has  maintained  that  the  C.A.R. 
laws  in  question,  which  all  date  back  to  the  1960's,  are 
obsolete  and  are  no  longer  observed.   In  its  1989  report,  the 
Committee  noted  that  the  Government  had  indicated  its 
readiness  to  accept,  but  has  thus  far  not  requested,  ILO 
assistance  in  drafting  legislation  to  repeal  the  offending 
laws . 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

Employment  of  children  under  14  years  of  age  is  forbidden  by 
law.   The  relevant  legislation  is  only  loosely  enforced.   Jobs 
are  in  such  demand  that  children  in  the  labor  force  are 
generally  limited  to  helping  the  family  in  traditional 
subsistence  farming  or  retailing. 


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CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 

e.   Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Minimum  wages  are  established  by  the  Government,  and  a  social 
security  system  exists  for  private  industry.   The  minimum  wage 
for  a  manual  laborer,  for  example,  is  about  $40  per  month  and 
about  $140  per  month  for  a  stenotypist.   These  salaries  assure 
a  family  the  basic  necessities  but  are  barely  adequate  to 
maintain  a  decent  standard  of  living  as  measured  against  the 
norms  of  industrialized  countries.   The  Government  has  not 
raised  the  minimum  wage  since  1980,  partly  in  response  to 
pressure  from  international  financial  institutions.   Much 
labor  is  performed  outside  the  wage  and  social  security 
system,  especially  in  the  large  subsistence  agricultural 
sector  by  self-employed  farmers.   The  law  sets  maximum  working 
hours  for  government  employees  and  most  people  in  the  private 
sector  at  40  hours  per  week.   Domestic  employees  may  work  up 
to  55  hours  per  week.   There  are  also  general  laws  on  health 
and  safety  standards  in  the  workplace,  but  they  are  neither 
precisely  defined  nor  actively  enforced. 


69 


CHAD. 


President  Hissein  Habre,  whose  support  is  based  in  the  armed 
forces,  heads  an  authoritarian  government  which  came  to  power 
in  1982  after  protracted  civil  war.   Since  then.  President 
Habre  has  governed  through  a  Council  of  Ministers  and  a 
National  Consultative  Council,  both  appointed  by  him.   On 
December  10,  in  Chad's  first  election  since  1969,  a  new 
Constitution  was  adopted  by  referendum,  and  Hissein  Habre  was 
elected  to  a  7-year  term  as  President.   Legislative  elections 
for  the  National  Assembly,  as  mandated  by  the  new 
Constitution,  are  expected  to  be  held  during  the  first  part  of 
1990.   The  multiethnic  National  Union  for  Independence  and 
Revolution  (UNIR) ,  created  in  1984  to  broaden  Habre 's 
political  constituency,  remains  the  only  officially  recognized 
political  party.   Many  former  opponents  continued  to  be 
brought  into  the  civil  service  and  army,  including  some  at  the 
ministerial  level,  while  several  hundreds  of  their  followers 
were  released  from  prison.   President  Habre" s  long-time  rival, 
ex-president  Goukouni  Oueddei,  remained  in  self-imposed  exile 
in  1989. 

The  Government  employs  a  large  internal  security  apparatus. 
In  addition  to  the  army  and  police,  it  includes  the  National 
Security  Service  (DDS),  the  Special  Rapid  Intervention  Brigade 
(BSIR),  the  Rural  Paramilitary  Police  (Gendarmerie),  and  a 
Presidential  Security  Service.   Chad  has  been  concerned  about 
sporadic  terrorism,  mostly  emanating  from  Libya,  and  chronic 
instability  among  ethnic  groups,  notably  the  Hadjerai  and 
Zaghawa  in  1988  and  1989. 

Chad  remains  desperately  poor,  and  its  economy  has  been 
severely  dislocated  by  extended  war  with  Libya  and  by 
declining  world  prices  for  its  principal  export,  cotton.   Its 
estimated  4.5-million  population  has  one  of  the  lowest  per 
capita  annual  incomes  in  the  world,  $178  in  1988.   The 
Government  relies  heavily  on  foreign  donors,  particularly 
France,  to  finance  government  operations  and  to  fund 
development  projects.   The  economy  improved  in  1989  as  the 
Government  adopted  a  stringent  World  Bank  plan,  important 
donors  increased  their  aid,  and  abundant  rains  insured  that 
subsistence  farmers  and  herders  produced  enough  to  feed 
themselves . 

Human  rights  in  Chad  remained  circumscribed  in  1989.   Major 
human  rights  concerns  were:   possible  extrajudicial  killings; 
torture  and  harsh  treatment  of  prisoners;  indefinite  and 
incommunicado  detentions;  denial  of  fair  trial;  restrictions 
on  freedom  of  speech  and  press,  assembly  and  association,  and 
the  right  of  citizens  to  change  their  government 
democratically.   However,  significant  steps  were  taken  in  1989 
to  improve  the  situation.   Between  December  1988  and  December 
1989,  the  Government  released  625  dissidents  or  former  Chadian 
rebels  from  prison.   Chad's  new  Constitution  promises  basic 
political  rights  and  liberties  to  all  Chadians  and  secret 
elections  through  universal  suffrage.   In  August  the  Habre 
Government  further  eased  tensions  with  Libya  with  the  signing 
of  a  bilateral  Framework  Accord  committing  the  two  countries 
to  seek  a  political  solution  to  their  longstanding  territorial 
dispute,  and  to  release  all  prisoners  of  war  (POW's).   Chad 
continued  to  hold  Libyan  POW's  at  year's  end,  as  well  as  an 
unknown  number  of  persons  arrested  in  the  wake  of  a  military 
revolt  in  April . 


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CHAD 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1  Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  no  confirmed  instances  of  government-instigated 
political  or  extrajudicial  killings  in  1989.   In  April  a  group 
of  senior  military  leaders,  all  of  whom  were  members  of  one 
branch  of  the  Zaghawa  ethnic  group,  led  an  armed  revolt 
against  the  Habre  regime.   The  Government  successfully  put 
down  the  revolt  and  arrested  an  unknown  number  of  persons, 
most  of  them  Zaghawa.   Their  status  at  the  end  of  1989  was 
unknown.   There  is  concern  that  Army  Commander  Hassan  Djamous, 
who  was  implicated  in  the  April  1989  military  revolt,  may  have 
been  summarily  executed. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  confirmed  disappearances  in  Chad  during  1989. 
However,  the  fate  of  hundreds  of  Chadian  soldiers  who  fought 
under  Goukouni  and  were  captured  in  July  1983  has  not  been 
clarified  by  the  Government.   Amnesty  International  (AI) 
estimates  the  number  of  these  "disappeared"  prisoners  as 
between  500  and  1,000. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  were  no  confirmed  reports  of  torture  of  prisoners  during 
1989.   Due  to  government  secrecy  and  the  practice  of  holding 
most  political/security  detainees  (and  many  others)  in 
indefinite,  incommunicado  detention,  it  is  difficult  to  obtain 
information  on  torture  and  many  other  alleged  abuses  of 
prisoners.   For  example,  the  Government  has  never  clarified 
the  fate  of  Sa]eh  Gaba,  a  journalist,  who,  according  to  many 
reports,  was  tortured  with  electric  shocks  and  beaten 
severely,  and  who  reportedly  died  in  prison  in  June  1988.   AI 
requested  the  Government  to  conduct  an  urgent  investigation 
into  the  circumstances  of  Gaba's  death,  but  no  response  had 
been  received  by  the  end  of  1989. 

There  were  allegations  that  government  troops  continued  to  use 
extreme  measures  and  intimidation  to  maintain  order  in  parts 
of  Guera  prefecture,  where  a  1987  insurrection  among  members 
of  the  Hadjerai  ethnic  group  was  met  with  strenuous 
repression,  including  summary  executions.   There  were  also 
reports  in  1989  that  the  military  had  used  similar  measures 
against  members  of  the  Zaghawa  ethnic  group  following  an  armed 
revolt  in  April  by  senior  Zaghawa  military  commanders. 

Prison  conditions  in  Chad  are  harsh,  and  abuses  in  handling 
prisoners,  usually  in  the  form  of  beatings,  are  understood  to 
be  common.   Conditions  are  reportedly  severe  in  the  special 
detention  centers  maintained  by  the  DDS  and  other  security 
organizations.   The  lack  of  food  and  medical  treatment  is 
reported  to  be  especially  glaring,  and  prisoners  in  past  years 
are  alleged  to  have  died  from  the  combination  of  malnutrition 
and  physical  abuse. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Under  Chadian  law,  the  authorities  are  required  to  show 
probable  cause  in  making  arrests  and  to  adhere  to  established 


71 


judicial  requirements  in  detaining  persons  (see  Section  I.e.)- 
In  security/political  cases  (the  term  is  very  broadly 
interpreted),  the  Government  has  a  completely  free  hand. 
Those  who  express  views  critical  of  the  Government,  or  hold 
views  different  from  it,  often  are  regarded  as  endangering  the 
security  of  the  State  and  may  be  subject  to  indefinite 
detention  without  trial.  Many  detainees  are  held 
incommunicado,  and  most  are  never  charged  or  tried. 

The  total  number  of  political  detainees,  as  distinct  from 
prisoners  of  war,  is  not  known.  Among  detainees  believed  held 
without  charge,  reportedly  because  of  their  political  beliefs 
or  ethnic  origins,  are:   Gamane  Gody;  Ahmed  Lamine;  Moussa 
Konate;  Gamane  Moussa;  Kef fine  Abouzarga;  Djibrine  Daoud; 
Djimet  Gondje;  Issa  Kamsoul;  Abderamane  Tchere;  and  Dari 
Tchere. 

Between  December  1988  and  December  1989,  the  Government 
released  625  Chadians  from  prison,  including  on  December  22, 
1989,  Moukhtar  Bachar  Moukhtar,  formerly  Secretary  of  State, 
Ministry  of  Agriculture.   Most  were  former  members  of  armed 
factions  opposed  to  the  Government,  especially  the  Chadian 
Patriotic  Front  (FPT)  which  reconciled  with  the  Government  in 
1988.   Some  of  those  released  were  considered  political 
prisoners  rather  than  POW's.   All  were  given  the  option  of 
joining  (or  rejoining)  the  Chadian  armed  forces,  or  of 
returning  to  their  former  occupations.   The  Government  has 
steadfastly  refused  to  allow  the  International  Committee  of 
the  Red  Cross  (ICRC)  access  to  Libyan  prisoners  captured  since 
1986.   In  November,  government  authorities  met  with  a 
high-level  delegation  of  the  ICRC,  and  it  was  announced  that 
an  agreement  in  principle  had  been  reached  "to  permit  the  ICRC 
to  take  measures  leading  to  visits  to  the  Libyan  POW's." 
However,  by  year's  end,  no  such  visits  had  occurred.   A  number 
of  Libyan  POW's  have  joined  the  Libyan  National  Salvation 
Front,  which  is  opposed  to  Colonel  Gadhafi's  regime  and  which 
is  based  in  Chad.   These  Libyans  are  no  longer  considered 
POW's  by  the  Government. 

A  number  of  people,  primarily  members  of  a  clan  of  the 
Hadjerai  ethnic  group,  were  arrested  on  security  grounds  in 
1987  and  remained  in  detention  during  1989  without  charge  or 
prospects  of  trial.   In  December  1988,  government  troops 
defeated  a  band  of  Libyan-backed  rebels,  most  of  whom  were 
Hadjerai,  and  more  Hadjerai  suspected  of  complicity  with  the 
rebels  were  arrested  and  held  without  charge.   According  to 
AI,  more  than  180  persons  belonging  to  the  Hadjerai  ethnic 
group  were  in  secret  detention  at  the  beginning  of  1989. 
These  included  a  number  of  children. 

The  President  has  called  for  persons  in  exile  to  return  to 
Chad;  many  of  them  have  done  so  and  have  been  integrated  into 
the  Government  and  military.   Nevertheless,  there  also  have 
been  reports  of  detention  by  government  security  forces  of 
former  Chadian  exiles  upon  their  return  to  Chad,  including 
Hadja  Merami,  and  her  daughter  Azzine.   Although  Hadja  Merami 
was  subsequently  released,  her  daughter  was  reportedly  still 
held  without  charge  at  the  end  of  1989.   President  Habre's 
long-time  rival,  ex-president  Goukouni  Oueddei,  remained  in 
self-imposed  exile  in  1989. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 


72 

QhhD. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  Chadian  judicial  system  (the  Supreme  Court  and  several 
lower  courts)  and  Criminal  Code  have  evolved  from  the  body  of 
law  (Napoleonic  Code)  inherited  from  the  former  colonial 
power,  France.   This  law  includes  safeguards  against  arbitrary 
arrests  and  provides  for  specified  detainee  rights,  including 
the  right  to  counsel  and  the  right  to  be  promptly  informed  of 
charges.   There  is  also  a  traditional  system  of  law  presided 
over  by  sultans  and  chiefs.   It  is  generally  effective  and 
fair  in  resolving  property  and  other  civil  disputes  and  in 
dealing  with  cases  involving  petty  local  crime.   Decisions  in 
customary  courts  may  theoretically  be  appealed  to  the  regular 
courts. 

Armed  conflict  over  more  than  20  years  has  severely  disrupted 
the  legal  system,  and  political/security  cases  almost  never 
come  before  the  courts.   The  Government  has  made  some  effort 
to  restablish  civilian  law  enforcement  in  liberated  areas.   AI 
states  in  its  1989  Report  that,  since  President  Habre  came  to 
power  in  1982,  no  political  prisoners  have  been  brought  to 
trial  or  even  had  their  cases  referred  to  judicial 
authorities.   AI  asserts  they  have  been  kept  in  secret 
detention,  under  harsh  conditions,  and  are  released  only  when 
it  suits  the  Government's  political  purposes. 

Whether  accused  of  crimes  or  security  offenses,  most  Chadians 
do  not  get  speedy  trials,  in  part  because  of  the  rudimentary 
nature  of  the  Chadian  judicial  system.   There  are  only  a  few 
trained  lawyers,  judges,  and  other  court  personnel.   Many  of 
Chad's  tribunals  do  not  even  have  law  books.   The  few  trained 
judicial  officials  complain  of  a  heavy  backlog  of  cases. 
Trials  can  be  held  in  public  or  private  at  the  option  of  the 
Government.   No  legal  right  to  a  timely  trial  exists. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Under  Chadian  law,  homes  may  be  searched  only  during  the  day 
and  under  authority  of  a  warrant.   In  practice,  there  are  many 
instances  where  this  law  has  not  been  respected,  especially  in 
areas  where  ethnic  unrest  continues.   Correspondence  carried 
by  people  traveling  overland  in  Chad  is  often  checked  by 
authorities  at  various  points,  but  correspondence  sent  through 
the  Chadian  postal  system  is  less  likely  to  be  subjected  to 
such  controls. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Officially,  free  speech  is  assured  under  Chadian  law,  but  in 
practice  public  or  private  statements  that  the  authorities 
consider  seditious  have  led  to  arrest.   There  is  no  prior 
restraint  on  the  publication  or  broadcast  of  information  in 
Chad,  but  the  media  (television,  radio,  and  two  newssheets) 
are  government  controlled  and  directed,  and  there  is  no 
opportunity  for  opposing  views  to  be  heard.   The  small  Chadian 
press  corps  is  careful  not  to  criticize  the  Government  or  its 
policies.   Occasionally  the  Government  authorizes  controlled 
public  criticism  of  individual  ministries  or  agencies  of 
government  and  officials.   Academic  freedom  is  nominally 
respected  but  is  subject  to  similar  restraints. 


73 


CHAD 

The  Government's  treatment  of  foreign  correspondents,  uneven 
in  the  past,  improved  in  1989.   The  Government  encouraged 
visits  by  foreign  journalists,  facilitated  their  interviews 
with  public  officials,  and  allowed  them  access  to  many  areas 
of  the  country  long  off-limits  to  the  foreign  press.   It  did 
not  impose  prior  censorship,  a  change  from  the  past,  but 
banned  an  April  issue  of  Jeune  Afrigue  magazine  which 
contained  an  article  about  the  attempted  military  revolt. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Freedom  of  assembly  and  association  is  restricted.   Chadians 
may  assemble  peacefully  only  as  long  as  the  purpose  of  the 
meeting  is  not  opposed  to  government  policies.   Prefects  have 
the  nominal  right  to  forbid  a  meeting,  but  prior  permits  are 
not  required  unless  the  gathering  anticipated  is  large  enough 
to  cause  a  public  hazard. 

Membership  in  U^IR  is  voluntary.   Although  President  Habre  is 
intent  on  having  a  single  mass  political  movement  to  which  all 
Chadians  will  belong,  he  continued  to  permit  the  existence  of 
a  number  of  small  former  opposition  political  groupings. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  pertains  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Chad  is  officially  a  secular  state  in  which  Islam, 
Christianity,  and  other  religions  are  practiced  freely.   Both 
Islamic  and  Christian  holidays  are  given  official  status. 
More  than  50  percent  of  Chad's  population  is  Muslim,  and  Chad 
is  a  member  of  the  Organization  of  the  Islamic  Conference. 
Christian  missionaries  may,  nevertheless,  enter  the  country, 
proselytize,  and  provide  assistance  to  local  populations. 
They  are  mainly  active  among  the  non-Muslim  ethnic  groups  in 
the  south.   Strictly  religious  publications  are  allowed  to 
circulate  freely.   The  Government  neither  favors  nor  disfavors 
members  of  particular  religions. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Chadians  enjoy  freedom  to  move  around  the  country  except 
within  military  zones  or  areas  of  recent  or  potential  combat. 
These  restrictions  generally  pertain  only  to  the  northern 
one-third  of  the  country  and  are  not  enforced  for  the  sparse 
population  of  that  large  desert  region.   In  the  north, 
retreating  Libyan  military  left  thousands  of  landmines  under 
the  sand,  which  have  claimed  some  civilian  victims. 
International  travel  is  permitted,  but  regular  passports  are 
expensive  (about  $60),  and  travelers  must  be  cleared  by  Chad's 
internal  security  services,  a  process  which  normally  takes 
less  than  a  week.   Chadians  are  free  to  emigrate. 

In  the  past,  thousands  of  Chadians  fled  to  neighboring 
countries  because  of  drought  and  civil  strife.   As  conditions 
began  to  improve  in  1986,  most  of  these  displaced  Chadians 
returned  from  neighboring  countries,  encouraged  by  the 
Government.   These  returnees,  as  well  as  those  Chadians  who 
fled  the  occupied  northern  zone,  have  been  well  received. 


74 


CHAD 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Under  the  Chadian  political  system  in  effect  through  late 
1989,  citizens  did  not  have  the  right  to  change  their 
Government  through  elections  and  referendums.   Since  June 
1982,  Chad  has  been  governed  by  President  Habre,  who  heads  a 
Council  of  Ministers  complemented  by  an  appointed  National 
Consultative  Council.   Both  Councils  are  carefully  balanced  to 
promote  ethnic  and  regional  harmony,  as  is  the  membership  in 
the  executive  organs  of  the  country's  only  authorized 
political  movement,  the  National  Union  for  Independence  and 
Revolution  (UNIR) .    The  main  source  of  President  Habre "s 
authority  has  been  the  allegiance  he  commands  from  the  armed 
forces  and  the  security  services.   In  some  areas,  traditional 
leaders  (e.g.,  cantonal  or  village  chiefs)  are  popularly 
elected  or  chosen  by  the  subordinate  members  of  the 
traditional  hierarchy. 

While  ethnic  unrest  continued  in  some  regions  of  Chad,  and 
opposition  leaders  such  as  ex-President  Goukouni  remained 
abroad.  President  Habre  made  further  efforts  in  1989  to 
achieve  international  and  national  reconciliation  on  the 
political  front.   On  August  31,  Chad  and  Libya  agreed  to  seek 
a  political  solution  to  their  conflict  over  the  Aozou  strip. 
This  Framework  Accord,  signed  in  Algiers,  includes  a  provision 
for  an  exchange  of  prisoners  of  war  and,  potentially,  the 
withdrawal  of  Libyan  troops  from  the  disputed  northern  border 
area. 

In  addition.  President  Habre  carried  through  on  the 
"Libreville  Accords,"  signed  in  late  1985  in  Gabon  by  the 
Chadian  Government  and  the  rallying  opposition  parties, 
calling  for  the  drafting  of  a  new  constitution  within  4  years 
and  eventual  free  elections.   A  Constitutional  Commission 
presented  a  draft  document  in  March  1989,  and  after  scrutiny 
by  the  Government,  the  party,  and  the  President,  the  people 
approved  a  new  Constitution  by  referendum  on  December  10. 
President  Habre  was  elected  President  without  opposition  at 
the  same  time.   The  Constitution  promises  basic  human  and 
political  rights,  including  the  rights  of  women  and  labor 
unions.   It  also  provides  for  a  unicameral  legislature 
scheduled  to  be  elected  in  1990. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

Chad  cooperates  with  the  ICRC  in  permitting  some  prison 
visits,  but  continued  to  deny  the  organization  access  to  any 
Libyan  POW's,  although  discussions  on  this  issue  continued  in 
1989.   It  did  not  respond  to  AI ' s  appeal  for  an  investigation 
into  Saleh  Gaba's  case  (see  Section  I.e.).   There  are  no  local 
human  rights  organizations  that  monitor  and  comment  on  the 
Government's  human  rights  policies. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

There  are  290  ethnic  groups  in  Chad.   They  are  roughly  divided 
between  Saharan  and  Arab  Muslims  in  the  northern  and  eastern 
regions,  and  Bantu  peoples  in  the  south.   The  latter  group 
includes  both  those  who  have  retained  traditional  animist 
practices  and  those  who  have  adopted  Christianity.   Over  20 
years  of  conflict  have  transformed  the  cofRplezity  of  ethnic 


75 


CHAD 

divisions  beyond  simple  north-south  formulations.    Between 
1965  and  1985  as  many  as  11  factional  armies  contended  at 
times  for  control  of  the  country.   In  an  effort  to  build  a 
national  government.  President  Habre  has  expanded  ethnic  and 
geographic  representation  by  appointing  people  to  top 
government  and  party  positions  from  all  parts  of  the  country. 

Officially,  Chadian  women  enjoy  full  political  equality  and 
the  full  protection  of  the  law.   In  practice,  neither 
traditional  law  nor  the  inherited  French  Code  fully  protects 
women's  rights.   The  new  Constitution  specifically  prohibits 
discrimination  on  the  basis  of  sex.   Women  contribute  the  bulk 
of  labor  in  virtually  all  aspects  of  farming,  even  though  men 
are  the  heads  of  many  agricultural  cooperatives.   Women  also 
engage  in  commerce  ranging  from  managing  simple  market  stalls 
to  the  ownership  of  some  larger  businesses.   Women  serve 
voluntarily  in  the  armed  forces,  although  they  are  excluded 
from  officer  training  programs. 

Violence  against  women,  mainly  wife  beating,  reportedly  occurs 
in  Chad  on  a  fairly  wide  scale,  but  it  is  difficult  to 
quantify.   Doctors  in  Chad  estimate  that  about  7  percent  of 
admissions  to  emergency  wards  are  for  domestic  violence  cases 
directed  against  women,  about  3  percent  against  men.   While 
domestic  violence  is  not  sanctioned  by  the  Government,  the 
police  do  not  normally  intervene  in  domestic  disputes  because 
of  strongly  ingrained  traditional  attitudes  of  male 
dominance.   Formal  legal  remedies  are  ineffective.   Customary 
courts  occasionally  intervene,  reflecting  the  mores  of  the 
different  ethnic  groups  they  represent.   OFUNIR,  the  women's 
wing  of  the  political  party  UNIR,  is  strongly  and  articulately 
vocal  in  opposing  domestic  violence  directed  against  women. 
Early  in  1989,  OFUNIR  organized  a  well-publicized  lecture  and 
discussion  on  the  issue.   Female  genital  mutilation 
(circumcision)  has  long  been  common  in  Chad;  it  is  more 
prevalent  in  the  south  as  part  of  initiation  rites  and  in 
cities  among  all  ethnic  groups  as  a  status  symbol.   The 
Government  opposes  these  practices  but  has  not  outlawed  them 
due  to  the  deeply  rooted  traditional  and  religious  attitudes 
of  many  Chadians. 

Section  6   Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

About  95  percent  of  all  Chadian  workers  are  involved  in 
subsistence  agriculture,  animal  husbandry,  or  fishing.   As  a 
result,  the  labor  movement  is  small  and  only  marginally 
effective.   Chad's  labor  laws  permit  the  formation  and 
functioning  of  unions  subject  to  restrictions.   The  two  rival 
trade  union  federations  were  merged  in  1988  into  a  single 
national  umbrella  organization,  the  National  Union  of  Chadian 
Trade  Unions  (UNST) ,  which  subsequently  became  the  labor  wing 
of  the  ruling  UNIR  party.   All  unions  are  required  to  be 
members  of  the  UNST,  which  is  controlled  by  the  Government. 
The  UNST  has  not  sought  to  affiliate  with  any  international 
trade  union  organizations  except  African  organizations  such  as 
the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity. 

The  right  to  strike  exists  only  if  arbitration  at  three  levels 
in  the  Ministries  of  Labor  and  Justice  fails.   This  process, 
which  in  effect  makes  strikes  illegal,  has  been  criticized  by 
the  International  Confederation  of  Free  Trade  Unions.   The 
International  Labor  Organization  (ILO)  Committee  of  Experts 
(COE)  has  observed  that  various  legal  provisions  of  Chadian 


76 


law,  which  forbid  public  employees  from  exercising  the  right 
to  strike,  prohibit  trade  unions  from  all  political  activity, 
and  suspend  all  strikes,  are  at  variance  with  Convention  87  on 
Freedom  of  Association,  which  Chad  has  ratified.   The 
Government  has  given  assurances  that  these  provisions  will  be 
repealed,  and  the  ILO  is  advising  the  Government  on  the 
preparation  of  draft  language  for  a  new  labor  code. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Freedom  of  association  and  the  right  to  form  unions  is 
guaranteed  in  Chad's  new  Constitution,  and  the  right  of  labor 
to  organize  and  bargain  collectively  is  established  in  Chadian 
law.   However  these  rights  are  weakened  by  provisions  that 
allow  the  authorities  to  intervene  in  the  collective 
bargaining  process  and  require  prior  government  authorization 
for  collective  agreements  to  come  into  force.   Government 
labor  tribunals  exist  to  hear  worker -employer  disputes.   Their 
decisions  may  be  appealed  to  the  judicial  system.   Labor  laws 
are  applied  uniformly  throughout  the  country.   There  are  no 
export  processing  zones. 

The  ILO  COE  has  welcomed  the  Government's  stated  intention  to 
amend  the  labor  code  to  reduce  significantly  government 
interference  in  the  collective  bargaining  process. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

The  ILO  has  been  critical  of  Chad  in  the  past  for  the  use  of 
forced  labor.   The  Government  is  continuing  discussions  with 
the  ILO  on  revising  its  labor  laws  to  meet  ILO  conventions  on 
forced  labor,  which  Chad  has  ratified. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  minimum  age  for  employment  is  14  in  the  wage  sector,  but 
enforcement  of  this  law  is  limited.   There  is  general 
compliance  in  practice,  given  the  large  pool  of  adults  seeking 
employment.   However,  children  work  on  family  farms  at  a  much 
earlier  age. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

The  statutory  minimum  wage  rate  for  workers  in  the  formal 
economy  is  approximately  $25  per  month,  which  is  barely 
sufficient  for  subsistence.   The  Government,  the  largest 
employer,  promised  to  begin  paying  civil  servants  their  full 
salaries  in  1989,  but  frequent  budgetary  shortfalls  caused 
irregular  payments.   Most  workers  must  supplement  their 
incomes  through  subsistence  agriculture,  second  jobs,  and/or 
reliance  on  the  extended  family  system. 

Most  nonagricultural  work  is  limited  to  48  hours  per  week, 
with  overtime  to  be  paid  for  any  excess.   Agricultural  work  is 
supposedly  limited  to  2,400  hours  per  year.   All  workers  must 
have  at  least  24  consecutive  hours  of  rest  each  week,  usually 
on  Sunday.   Occupational  health  and  safety  standards  are 
established  by  law  and  ministerial  decree;  but,  as  with  most 
social  legislation,  enforcement  is  weak. 


77 


COMOROS 


During  much  of  1989,  the  Federal  Islamic  Republic  of  the 
Comoros  was  a  de  facto  one-party  State  led  by  President  Ahmed 
Abdallah  Abderemane,  who,  backed  by  the  Presidential  Guard, 
had  been  continuously  in  power  since  1978.   Located  in  the 
Mozambique  Channel  between  East  Africa  and  Madagascar,  Comoros 
comprises  three  islands  and  claims  a  fourth,  Mayotte,  which  is 
still  governed  by  France.   In  1989  there  were  four  important 
amendments  to  the  1978  Constitution,  including  one  which  would 
have  permitted  President  Abdallah  to  succeed  himself  in  1990. 

On  November  27,  President  Abdallah  was  assassinated  under 
mysterious  circumstances.   Under  constitutional  provisions, 
the  head  of  the  Supreme  Court  became  acting  President,  and 
Abdallah's  Cabinet  of  Ministers  remained  in  place.   However, 
effective  power  rested  with  Bob  Denard,  a  French  soldier  of 
fortune,  and  approximately  25  European  mercenaries  who  were 
serving  as  the  officers  of  the  Presidential  Guard.   Denard  and 
his  group  eventually  bowed  to  intense  pressure  from  France  and 
South  Africa  and  voluntarily  departed  the  Comoros  on  December 
15,  leaving  command  of  the  Presidential  Guard  in  the  hands  of 
French  troops  who  arrived  that  same  day.   At  the  invitation  of 
the  acting  President,  a  wide  spectrum  of  Comorian  political 
leaders  began  roundtable  discussions  in  mid-December  to 
prepare  for  new,  democratic  presidential  elections  in  1990. 

About  25  mercenaries,  primarily  French,  had  trained  and  led 
the  South  African-funded  Presidential  Guard,  which  had  primary 
responsiblity  for  internal  security  and  which  was  the  source 
of  a  number  of  human  rights  abuses.   France,  which  had 
provided  considerable  financial  and  technical  assistance  to 
the  small  Comorian  armed  forces  and  the  gendarmerie,  seemed 
likely  to  reorganize  the  Guard  and  integrate  it  into  the 
regular  armed  forces  in  the  wake  of  the  mercenaries'  departure 

Agriculture  dominates  the  economy,  but  Comoros  is  running  out 
of  arable  land,  and  soil  erosion  on  the  steep  volcanic  slopes 
is  an  increasing  problem.   Revenues  from  the  export  of 
vanilla,  essence  of  ylang  ylang,  and  cloves  continue  to  fall. 
Three  major  families,  of  which  the  late  President  Abdallah's 
is  one,  control  most  of  the  import-export  business.   Comoros 
is  part  of  the  French  franc  monetary  zone  and  depends  heavily 
on  France  for  budgetary  support  and  technical  assistance.   In 
1989  Comoros  began  to  implement  a  number  of  economic  reforms 
sought  by  the  International  Monetary  Fund  and  World  Bank, 
including  a  5-percent  cut  in  already  low  civil  service 
salaries. 

Human  rights  were  sharply  restricted  during  President 
Abdallah's  rule.   Freedom  of  speech,  press,  association, 
citizens'  rights  to  change  their  government,  women's  rights, 
and  worker  rights  were  all  significantly  restricted.   Several 
weeks  before  he  was  assassinated,  voters  in  a  referendum 
approved  constitutional  changes  that  removed  restrictions  on 
President  Abdallah's  ability  to  succeed  himself;  there  were 
numerous  reports  of  fraud  and  tampering  with  ballot  boxes  in 
the  referendum.   During  the  brief  period  of  rule  by  the 
mercenaries  after  Abdallah's  death,  there  were  almost  no 
arrests,  and  virtually  all  political  prisoners  were  released. 
By  the  end  of  the  year,  politicians  were  actively  engaged  in 
the  preparations  for  presidential  elections  in  1990. 


78 


RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 
There  were  no  reports  of  such  killings  in  1989. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  disappearance  in  1989. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  were  no  substantiated  reports  of  torture  or  other  cruel, 
inhuman,  or  degrading  treatment  or  punishment  in  1989. 
However,  there  were  unconfirmed  reports  that  in  the  last  days 
of  the  Abdallah  regime,  after  the  November  5  referendum  on 
constitutional  changes,  there  was  some  torture  of  suspected 
arsonists  on  the  island  of  Anjouan. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

In  1989  there  were  no  known  cases  of  arbitrary  arrest  or 
detention.   In  regular  criminal  cases,  a  person  may  not  be 
detained  more  than  48  hours  without  being  charged.   This  is 
generally  followed  in  practice.   However,  under  Abdallah" s 
regime,  there  was  apparently  no  such  limit  in  cases  involving 
national  security,  which  was  interpreted  broadly  by  the 
Government.   For  example,  four  persons,  including  two  former 
•ministers,  were  detained  for  2  months  in  1988  in  connection 
with  a  pamphlet  criticizing  the  Government  for  its  neglect  of 
the  island  of  Moheli. 

From  November  27  to  December  15,  when  Denard  and  the 
mercenaries  effectively  controlled  the  country,  virtually  all 
those  who  had  been  detained  after  the  1985  and  1987  coup 
attempts  and  in  connection  with  the  November  5  referendum, 
were  released. 

with  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  Constitution  provides  for  the  equality  of  all  citizens 
before  the  law  and  the  right  of  all  accused  to  defense 
counsel.   The  Comorian  legal  system  applies  Islamic  law  and  an 
inherited  French  legal  code.   Most  disputes  are  settled  by 
village  elders  or  by  a  civilian  court  of  first  instance.   In 
regular  civil  and  criminal  cases,  the  judiciary  is  usually 
independent,  and  trials  are  public,  but  in  national  security 
cases  during  the  Abdallah  regime  regular  judicial  procedures 
were  sometimes  completely  ignored. 

One  of  Denard's  last  official  acts  was  the  release  of  Said 
Moustafa  Cheik  of  the  leftist  Democratic  Front,  whom  Abdallah 
considered  to  be  the  only  political  prisoner  in  the  country. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  Constitution  provides  for  the  inviolability  of  home  and 
property.   There  were  no  known  cases  of  arbitrary  interference 


79 


COMOROS 

with  privacy  in  1989.   There  is  no  regular,  systematic 
interference  with  correspondence,  but  some  members  of  the 
opposition  believed  that  their  mail  may  have  been  screened  by 
the  Presidential  Guard  (see  also  Section  2.a.)' 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Despite  constitutional  provision  for  freedom  of  expression, 
thought,  and  conscience,  they  were  significantly  restricted 
under  President  Abdallah's  rule.   Comorians  discuss  and 
criticize  the  Government  and  its  leading  personalities  openly 
in  some  situations.   During  the  parliamentary  debates  on  the 
constitutional  changes,  the  Assembly's  sole  opposition  member 
spoke  freely  against  the  Government,  for  which  he  was  sharply 
criticized  by  President  Abdallah,  but  otherwise  suffered  no 
harassment.   The  so-called  tribune  libre,  an  informal  private 
forum  for  discussion  of  political,  economic,  social,  and  other 
issues,  has  been  in  existence  for  several  years.   Meetings  are 
by  invitation,  but  all  subjects  are  covered,  and  the  existence 
of  the  group  was  known  and  tolerated  by  the  Abdallah 
Government.   Attendees  include  figures  from  both  the  public 
and  private  sectors. 

However,  the  Abdallah  Government  restricted  public  criticism 
of  its  performance.   After  political  tracts  critical  of  the 
regime  appeared  in  Mutsamudu,  Anjouan,  the  Government 
organized  public  meetings  to  criticize  the  authors.   One 
member  of  a  leading  business  family,  who  wrote  an  open  letter 
critical  of  the  President  and  accused  a  senior  minister  of 
corruption,  was  harassed  by  the  Government  and  fined 
exorbitant  amounts  for  petty  tax  and  customs  duty 
irregularities . 

There  is  a  considerable  degree  of  self-censorship  by  the 
government-owned  radio  station  and  the  semi-independent 
bimonthly  newspaper.   Prior  censorship  is  rare. 

Foreign  journals  and  newspapers  are  available,  as  are  books 
from  abroad.   The  Paris-based  Indian  Ocean  Newsletter,  which 
is  often  critical  of  the  Comoros,  generally  arrives  unhindered 
through  the  international  mail.   To  show  solidarity  with 
fellow  Moslem  countries,  Salman  Rushdie's  "Satanic  Verses"  was 
banned  in  1989,  and  in  March  the  Interior  Minister  personally 
led  a  public  burning  of  foreign  publications  containing 
excerpts  from  the  book.   For  several  weeks  after  that 
incident,  foreign  publications  were  carefully  screened  and 
some  issues  were  confiscated.   An  issue  of  the  local  newspaper 
was  recalled  in  order  to  reprint  a  page  containing  an  article 
about  the  Rushdie  affair  deemed  overly  critical  of  Westerners. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  association.   Under 
Abdallah,  Comorians  were  circumspect  about  organizing  public 
political  gatherings,  and  political  groupings  opposed  to  the 
Government  kept  a  fairly  low  profile.   The  December  roundtable 
discussions  on  the  presidential  elections  comprised 
representation  from  a  broad  cross-section  of  society, 
including  the  previously  banned  Democratic  Front. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions  see  Section  6.  a. 


80 

COHQRQS 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

An  overwhelming  majority  of  the  population  is  Muslim.   The 
Constitution  holds  Islam  to  be  the  "wellspring  of  the 
principles  and  rules  which  guide  the  State  and  its 
institutions."   However,  the  State  upholds  the  right  of 
non-Muslims  to  practice  their  faith.   There  are  churches  for 
the  small  Protestant  and  Catholic  populations.   Christian 
missionaries  work  in  local  hospitals  and  schools,  but  they  are 
not  allowed  to  proselytize. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

There  are  no  restrictions  on  travel  within  the  country. 
Passports  and  exit  visas  for  foreign  travel  are  generally 
granted.   One  disgruntled  former  government  official  was 
allowed  to  emigrate  without  any  problem.   A  leading  member  of 
the  opposition  was  denied  an  exit  permit  but  successfully 
traveled  to  France  anyway,  via  Mayotte  and  Reunion.   Some 
members  of  the  large  Comorian  community  in  France  opposed  the 
Abdallah  Government,  but  in  1989  none  of  those  returning  to 
the  Comoros  were  subjected  to  governmental  reprisals. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizen: 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Under  Abdallah,  the  right  of  citizens  to  change  their 
government  through  peaceful  means  existed  in  theory  but  not  in 
practice.   With  his  November  27  assassination  and  the  December 
15  departure  of  the  mercenaries  who  had  led  his  Presidential 
Guard,  a  new  political  era  opened  in  the  Comoros.   No  less 
than  14  political  groupings  were  represented  in  the  roundtable 
discussions  on  the  presidential  elections,  which  will  be  held 
in  1990  at  a  date  still  to  be  determined.   The  roundtable 
discussions  indicate  that  the  Constitution  will  probably  be 
modified  to  permit  several  political  parties  and  presidential 
candidates  to  contest  the  elections.   Following  these,  the  new 
President  would  likely  dissolve  the  Federal  Assembly  and 
organize  open,  multiparty  parliamentary  elections. 

In  the  1987  Federal  Assembly  elections,  opposition  candidates 
were  permitted  to  run,  but  there  was  widespread  fraud  on 
election  day,  and  the  ruling  United  Progress  Party  (UPP)  won 
41  of  42  seats.   In  1988  an  opposition  candidate  won  the 
by-election  to  fill  the  remaining  vacant  seat  in  the  Assembly. 

Traditional  social  and  economic  institutions  also  infltience 
importantly  the  country's  political  life.   Intra-island 
rivalries  have  been  a  persistent  and  growing  factor.   Village 
notables  and  Muslim  religious  leaders  tended  to  dominate  local 
politics . 

Comoros  continues  to  claim  sovereignty  over  Mayotte,  which  did 
not  join  the  other  islands  in  declaring  independence  from 
France  in  1975.   The  results  of  a  1977  referendum  on  the 
status  of  Mayotte--overwhelmingly  in  favor  of  remaining  with 
France--has  never  been  accepted  by  the  Comorian  Government. 
The  French  have  indefinitely  postponed  a  new  referendum.   In 
the  June  1988  French  parliamentary  elections,  98  percent  of 
the  voters  on  Mayotte  supported  candidates  advocating  closer 
ties  to  France,  while  less  than  2  percent  favored  candidates 
advocating  independence  or  reunification  with  the  Comoros. 


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COMOROS 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights. 

After  1986  the  Abdallah  Government  did  not  respond  to  requests 
from  human  rights  organizations  including,  as  far  as  is  known. 
Amnesty  International's  call  for  an  investigation  regarding 
the  alleged  use  of  torture  on  some  detainees  held  after  the 
1987  coup  attempt.   No  local  human  rights  groups  were 
permitted  under  President  Abdallah' s  regime. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  constitutional  recognition  of  Islam's  special  status 
formalizes  the  deeply  held  commitment  of  most  Comorians  to  an 
Islamic  world  view.   The  society  respects  authority  based  on 
inheritance,  age,  wealth,  and  religious  leadership. 

The  Constitution  formally  provides  for  the  equality  of 
citizens  regardless  of  race,  sex,  or  religion.   Nevertheless, 
within  Comorian  society,  men  have  the  dominant  role.   Women 
have  the  right  to  vote  and  to  participate,  in  theory,  in  the 
political  process  as  candidates,  but  tradition  has  been  a 
powerful  force  in  discouraging  women  from  direct  participation 
in  politics.   Women  are  neither  veiled  nor  limited,  in  terms 
of  employment,  to  minor  civil  service  posts.   Change  in  the 
status  of  women  is  most  evident  in  the  major  towns.   Women  are 
finding  increasing  employment  opportunities  in  the  small  paid 
labor  force,  and  generally  receive  wages  comparable  to  those 
of  men  in  similar  work.   Property  rights  generally  do  not 
disfavor  women;  for  example,  the  house  the  father  of  the  bride 
traditionally  provides  to  the  couple  at  the  time  of  their 
marriage  remains  her  property,  even  if  her  husband  divorces 
her . 

Violence  against  women,  including  wife  beating,  occurs  but  is 
believed  to  be  rare.   The  Government  has  not  addressed  this 
issue  specifically,  however,  and  there  are  no  studies  or 
statistics  available  to  help  determine  the  extent  of  the 
problem.   When  an  expatriate  chef  at  a  new  luxury  hotel 
slapped  a  woman  for  an  alleged  work  infraction,  her  male 
coworkers  quickly  came  to  her  rescue,  and  the  chef  was  quickly 
fired.   Female  circumcision  is  not  practiced  in  the  Comoros. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

The  Constitution  allows  workers  to  form  unions  and  to  strike. 
However,  farming  on  small  landholdings,  subsistence  fishing, 
and  petty  commerce  make  up  the  daily  activity  of  most  of  the 
population.   Hence,  the  wage  labor  force  is  small  (less  than 
2,000  workers),  and  there  are  no  formally  constituted,  legally 
recognized  unions  at  present.   There  have  been  sporadic 
groupings  of  workers  in  various  sectors  (dockers,  taxi 
drivers)  who  have  formed  temporary  associations  for  presenting 
specific  grievances,  but  these  have  tended  to  dissolve  after 
their  demands  were  met.   Public  service  employees  are  not 
subject  to  the  Labor  Code  but  are  granted  the  right  to 
organize  in  civil  service  legislation.   There  is  an  active 
teachers'  association. 

A  half-day  strike  at  a  new  luxury  hotel  led  to  the  firing  of 
the  expatriate  manager  and  improvements  in  pay  and  working 


82 


COMOROS 

conditions.   There  were  also  brief  work  slowdowns  by  teachers 
and  airport  baggage  handlers  about  late  payment  of  salaries. 
The  increasing  scarcity  of  jobs  is  also  a  real  restraint  on 
labor  complaints,  organizational  activities,  and  formal 
strikes.   The  Government's  inability  to  pay  wages  and  salaries 
on  schedule  sometimes  results  in  work  slowdowns,  absenteeism, 
and  informal,  peaceful  protests. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

The  absence  of  formal  unions  does  not  mean  that  collective 
bargaining  does  not  exist.   There  are  various  informal 
collective  conventions  between  workers  and  employers.   There 
are  no  export  processing  zones.   Labor  legislation,  to  the 
extent  it  exists,  is  applied  uniformly  throughout  the  country. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 
There  is  no  forced  or  compulsory  labor  in  the  Comoros. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  minimum  age  for  employment  of  children  is  15.   This  is 
generally  respected.   Child  labor  is  not  an  issue  due  to  the 
lack  of  employment  opportunities  for  adolescents  and  young 
adults.   Children  do  help  in  family  units  in  the  large 
subsistence  sector. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

The  currently  accepted  minimum  wage  is  approximately  $50  per 
month,  which  is  barely  adequate  to  cover  basic  human  needs. 
However,  the  hours  of  work  in  any  category  rarely  exceed  35 
hours  per  week.   In  1989  the  Government  reminded  employers  to 
respect  the  Labor  Code,  which  guarantees  a  day  off  per  week 
plus  a  month  of  paid  vacation  per  year.   Otherwise,  the 
Government's  role  in  such  labor-related  fields  as  setting 
health  and  safety  standards  is  miminal. 


83 


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The  People's  Republic  of  the  Congo  is  officially  a 
Marxist-Leninist  state  governed  by  an  elite  group  of  civilian 
and  military  officials  through  the  single  legal  party,  the 
Congolese  Labor  Party  (PCT) .   President  Denis  Sassou-Nguesso, 
Chief  of  State  and  Head  of  Government  since  1979,  serves  as 
President  of  the  75-member  PCT  Central  Committee.   The 
President  nominates  the  other  12  members  of  the  PCT  Political 
Bureau,  the  key  policymaking  group,  whose  selection  is 
approved  by  the  Central  Committee.   Under  Sassou,  Central 
Committee  membership  has  usually  reflected  a  balance  among 
Congo's  rival  southern,  northern,  and  central  ethnic  groups. 
The  military  and  security  services  are  firmly  under  the 
control  of  the  northerners,  who  are  the  ultimate  arbiters  of 
power  in  Congo  and  have  dominated  its  Government  since  1968. 
The  need  to  maintain  a  consensus  among  the  competing  regions 
and  ethnic  groups  has  provided  a  check  on  arbitrary  and  overly 
pronorthern  policies.   Congo's  National  Assembly  has  limited 
powers,  but  it  has  recently  begun  to  serve  as  a  sounding  board 
on  social  and  economic  issues  and  to  draw  representatives  of 
key  interest  groups  outside  the  PCT  into  the  political  arena. 

The  security  apparatus,  which  is  under  the  direction  of  the 
Presidency,  is  headed  by  the  State  Security  Organization 
(DGSE)  and  is  patterned  after  those  in  Eastern  Europe.   Its 
principal  objective  is  to  protect  the  State  against  all 
possible  dissident  activity.   As  of  late  1989,  the  military 
forces  were  no  longer  routinely  used  for  internal  security 
purposes  because  the  police  have  been  reorganized,  removed 
from  the  Ministry  of  Defense,  and  given  special  riot  and  crowd 
control  training.   PCT  "core  groups"  are  in  all  ministries, 
labor  organizations,  mass  organizations,  and  urban  districts. 
They  only  intermittently  attain  their  stated  goal  of 
monitoring  the  activities  of  workers  and  neighbors. 

The  Congolese  economy  is  highly  dependent  on  oil,  and 
declining  oil  prices  since  1985  have  forced  the  Government  to 
cut  its  budget  expenditures,  cooperate  with  the  International 
Monetary  Fund  and  World  Bank  in  formulating  a  structural 
adjustment  program,  and  to  seek  debt  relief  measures.   In 
addition,  since  1985  the  Government  has  followed  a  policy  of 
liberalization  of  the  economy  and  has  moved  toward  a  truly 
nonaligned  foreign  policy.   At  the  Fourth  PCT  Congress  in  July 
1989,  the  party  called  for  and  adopted  an  economic  program 
emphasizing  administrative  reform,  agricultural 
self-sufficiency,  privatization  of  state  enterprises,  and 
encouragement  of  foreign  investment.   Despite  its  Socialist 
policies,  the  PCT  has  never  forbidden  private  property  and 
enterprise,  and  it  has  encouraged  the  indigenous  commercial 
sector  in  the  past  few  years. 

Human  rights  remained  circumscribed  in  1989.   Most  Congolese 
live  their  lives  with  little  government  interference  as  long 
as  they  do  not  criticize  the  Government.   The  principal  human 
rights  problems  include  mistreatment  and  torture  of  detainees; 
arbitrary  detentions;  lack  of  fair  trial;  discrimination 
against  women;  and  tight  restrictions  on  freedom  of  speech  and 
press,  assembly  and  association,  worker  rights,  and  the  right 
of  citizens  to  change  their  government. 


84 


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RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 


Section  1   Respect  for  and  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 
There  were  no  reports  of  such  killings. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reported  cases  of  disappearance  for  political 
motives . 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment. 

The  practice  of  beating  suspects  at  police  stations  and  at 
state  security  centers  in  the  course  of  interrogations  is 
common.   The  public  or  the  police  frequently  beat  thieves  who 
have  been  caught  in  the  act  of  stealing.   Political  detainees 
are  held  incommunicado;  Ammnesty  International  (AI),  in 
various  statements  and  reports,  has  expressed  concern  about 
the  use  of  torture  to  extract  information  from  detainees  held 
after  the  1987  coup  attempt.   At  the  same  time,  several 
political  prisoners  held  incommunicado  in  the  past  are  now 
leading  normal  lives,  including  as  government  ministers. 
Prison  conditions  in  general  are  very  poor. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

The  Constitution  provides  protection  against  arbitrary 
indictment,  arrest,  and  detention.   But  in  practice  a  warrant 
is  not  required  to  make  arrests.   Under  the  Code  of  Penal 
Procedure  a  detainee  must  be  brought  before  an  investigative 
judge  within  3  days  of  arrest.   The  judge  may  then  order 
detention  for  a  maximum  period  of  6  months,  after  which  the 
detainee  must  be  charged  or  released.   This  law,  however,  does 
not  apply  in  cases  involving  security  of  the  State,  and 
political  detainees  have  been  held  for  lengthy  periods  without 
being  brought  before  a  judge  or  charged,  e.g.,  the  Government 
held  Georges  Mf aouta-Kitoko,  Christophe  Samba,  and  Florent 
Kihoulou  without  charge  from  1986  to  1988  for  belonging  to  an 
independent  political  discussion  group  and  writing  a  tract 
calling  for  a  "new  society."   The  trial  of  those  accused  of 
participation  in  the  1982  Brazzaville  bombings  did  not  take 
place  until  1986,  and  some  of  the  accused  were  held 
incommunicado  for  several  years.   A  similar  pattern  appears 
with  respect  to  those  accused  in  the  1987  coup  attempt. 

Despite  government  steps  to  increase  the  number  of  magistrates 
and  improve  procedures,  the  administrative  processing  of 
regular  criminal  cases  is  slow,  and  persons  awaiting  trial  are 
often  held  for  lengthy  periods.   Whether  a  detainee  is 
formally  charged  usually  depends  upon  the  seriousness  of  the 
crime  and  the  economic  situation  of  the  family.   For  lesser 
crimes,  the  person  is  usually  taken  to  jail,  where  he  may  be 
beaten  and  held  for  a  few  days,  then  released  on  bail  pending 
a  trial  which  may  never  take  place.   A  person  accused  of  a 
serious  crime  (e.g.,  murder,  rape)  is  held  in  prison  until  the 
trial,  which  may  be  held  months  or  even  years  later. 

The  number  of  political  detainees  or  prisoners  in  1989  was 
unavailable.   In  1987,  according  to  AI ,  the  Government 
arrested  60  or  70  people  in  connection  with  an  abortive  coup 


85 


CONGO 

attempt  by  former  army  captain  Pierre  Anga  and  supporters  with 
alleged  ties  to  President  Sassou's  predecessor,  Joachim 
Yhombi-Opango.   The  Government  officially  acknowledged  the 
arrest  of  four  military  men  and  two  civilians  for  alleged 
participation  in  the  coup  plot.   Yhombi-Opango,  Colonel  Jean 
Michel  Ebaka,  and  Lt .  Colonel  Eboundit,  the  ranking  military 
officers  arrested,  remained  in  detention  at  a  government 
housing  complex  at  the  end  of  1989.   After  one  coup 
participant  was  tracked  down  and  killed  by  government  troops 
in  July  1988,  a  number  of  his  relatives  and  other  associates 
were  arrested.   The  Government  claims  to  have  released  some  of 
these  persons.   In  November  1989,  it  announced  the  release  of 
some  40  civilians  implicated  in  the  1987  coup  attempt  but  has 
refused  to  reveal  the  names  of  those  released  or  still  in 
detention. 

In  1988  the  President  announced  an  amnesty  for  most  persons 
held  for  political  offenses  since  1963,  excepting  those 
arrested  in  connection  with  the  1987  coup  plot.   Despite  this 
announcement,  it  appeared  that  at  least  some  other  political 
detainees  remained  in  prison  at  the  end  of  the  year. 

There  were  no  known  instances  of  exile  being  used  as  a  means 
of  political  control  in  1989.   With  regard  to  forced  or 
compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  a  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  legal  system  is  not  free  from  political  interference.   The 
Constitution  establishes  the  Supreme  Court  at  the  apex  of  the 
judiciary,  but  in  practice  this  Court  is  an  arm  of  the 
executive  branch  rather  than  an  independent  body.   The  amended 
Constitution  also  provides  for  nonprofessional  judges  to  be 
elected  to  all  courts  below  the  Supreme  Court.   The  stated 
purpose  of  this  was  to  "popularize  justice,"  i.e.,  provide  a 
role  for  peers  to  influence  the  formal  judicial  process. 
According  to  the  law,  any  Congolese  citizen  can  become  a  judge 
but  can  adjudicate  cases  only  in  collaboration  with  trained 
judges.   All  nominations  must  be  approved  by  the  party.   By 
law,  the  right  to  a  fair  and  public  trial  exists  in  all  cases, 
and  the  judicial  process  is  relatively  fair  and  open  for  those 
accused  of  common  crimes.   It  is  not  unusual  to  have  a  higher 
court  reverse  lower  court  decisions  in  nonpolitical  cases. 
Detained  persons  are  entitled  to  legal  counsel,  and  all 
lawyers  are  regulated  by  the  State.   In  capital  criminal 
cases,  defense  lawyers  are  provided  by  the  Government  for 
those  without  funds. 

While  political  cases  usually  do  not  come  to  the  trial  stage, 
when  they  do  they  are  tried  by  a  special  court,  the 
Revolutionary  Court  of  Justice.   Trials  before  this  Court, 
such  as  the  August  1986  trial  of  10  persons  convicted  of 
causing  bomb  explosions  in  Brazzaville  in  1982,  have  not  met 
international  standards  of  fairness.   In  that  case,  AI 
indicated  that  several  judges  were  members  of  the  PCT  Central 
Committee  and  had  been  involved  in  the  case  at  an  earlier 
stage.   In  1988  the  President  commuted  the  sentences  of  four 
defendants  in  the  case.   There  were  no  known  political  cases 
tried  before  the  Revolutionary  Court  in  1989. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

There  is  generally  little  interference  by  the  Government  with 
privacy,  family,  home,  or  correspondence  so  long  as  a  person 


86 


CONGO 

does  not  engage  in  any  overt  activity  which  involves  or 
implies  opposition  to  the  Government. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Freedom  of  speech  and  press  are  restricted,  despite  guarantees 
in  the  Constitution.   The  Government  allows  some  criticism  of 
its  policies  and  programs  judged  not  to  be  politically 
sensitive,  but  it  does  not  allow  its  ultimate  authority  to  be 
challenged  publicly.   The  Government  does  not  hesitate  to 
arrest  people  and  hold  them  incommunicado  for  expressing  views 
it  finds  objectionable,  as  in  the  cases  of  the  "new  society" 
writers  (see  Section  l.d)  and  Jean-Felix  Demba  Ntelo,  who  was 
released  by  presidential  decree  in  1988  after  several  months 
in  custody.   (The  Government  maintains  that  these  persons  were 
involved  in  a  coup  plot.) 

The  State  owns  and  controls  all  media  except  for  one  weekly 
religious  newspaper.   A  state  censorship  committee  reviews  the 
content  of  all  newspapers,  movies,  books,  and  records. 
Articles  considered  to  be  critical  of  the  Government  or  its 
leaders  are  censored.   The  Government  and  party,  through 
general  guidelines  for  journalists,  control  the  kind  of  news 
Congolese  journalists  may  publish  from  various  sources  of 
information.   Self-censorship,  however,  is  the  general  pattern. 

The  Congolese  have  access  to  Zairian  radio  and  television,  as 
well  as  to  news  and  feature  programming  from  France  and  the 
United  States.   Western  papers  and  magazines  are  freely 
available.   However,  individual  issues  containing  articles 
critical  of  Congolese  domestic  politics  have  been  pulled  from 
newsstands  and  the  mails;  and  foreign  journalists  working  on 
domestic  issues  are  occasionally  detained  or  expelled. 
Foreign  journalists  are  generally  permitted  to  travel  freely 
once  an  entry  visa  and  a  special  permit  for  travel  to  the 
interior  are  obtained.   These  are  usually  granted. 

Academic  freedom  is  limited.   The  Congolese  educational  system 
borrows  liberally  from  the  Soviet  system  in  form,  but  it 
offers  a  broad  range  of  materials,  including  American,  to 
students.   Increasing  numbers  of  Congolese  pursue  higher 
education  in  American  and  other  Western  institutions. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  right  of  peaceful  assembly  is  limited  by  the  State's 
perceived  self-interest.   Political  meetings  are  permitted 
only  for  the  party  and  its  affiliated  organizations. 
Government  permission  is  not  required  for  groups  to  assemble 
for  religious  or  social  purposes,  but  it  is  required  for  the 
use  of  official  facilities.   Government  authorization  is  also 
required  to  establish  professional  clubs  and  organizations,  of 
which  there  are  several. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Freedom  of  religion  is  guaranteed  by  law,  but  the  Government 
is  officially  atheist.   Christmas  Day,  for  example,  is 
officially  called  Children's  Day.   Religious  organizations, 
such  as  the  Salvation  Army,  must  obtain  government  permission 


87 


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to  work  in  the  Congo.   Jehovah's  Witnesses  are  not  permitted. 
Members  of  the  Baha * i  faith  may  hold  services  but  are 
prohibited  from  organizing  and  teaching.   With  these  important 
exceptions,  the  government  and  party  position  toward  religious 
affairs  is  characterized  by  political  pragmatism,  with 
regular,  though  unofficial,  contacts  between  the  respective 
leaderships . 

The  Catholic  Church,  the  largest  single  religious  community, 
maintains  a  seminary  for  the  training  of  its  clergy  and  has 
missions  throughout  the  country.   Masses  are  held  in  French 
and  the  various  local  languages.   The  Catholic  church 
publishes  the  only  independent  newspaper.  La  Semaine 
Africaine.   Catholic  and  other  missionaries  are  active  in 
managing  private  missions  and  providing  other  social 
services.   Some  social  services  formerly  provided  by  the 
Catholic  Church  have  lapsed,  but  a  few  continue  as  joint 
church-government  ventures,  especially  in  education.   With  the 
recent  liberalization  in  Congo's  economic  policies,  there  are 
some  signs  of  government  efforts  to  solicit  church  support, 
including  the  provision  of  seats  for  religious  representatives 
in  the  National  Assembly. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  Government  exercises  limited  control  over  the  internal 
movement  of  its  citizens  through  identification  card  checks 
and  control  points  outside  all  major  towns  where  soldiers  or 
militia  rigorously  check  identification  documents.   Congolese 
citizens  wishing  to  travel  abroad  require  exit  authorization 
from  the  -State  Security  Organization  (DGSE) .   Passports  are 
generally  granted  but  must  be  returned  to  the  DGSE  after  the 
traveler  returns  from  abroad.   There  are  no  known  instances  of 
Congolese  being  refused  the  right  to  return  to  their  country. 
There  are  no  known  cases  of  a  native-born  Congolese  being 
denied  citizenship. 

The  Congo  is  the  home  of  about  2,000  refugees,  primarily  from 
Chad,  Central  African  Republic,  Rwanda,  Burundi,  and  Zaire. 
In  the  case  of  Zaire,  refugees  are  often  indistinguishable 
from  the  sizable  number  of  Zairians  in  Congo  engaged  in 
economic  pursuits.   Refugees  are  subject  to  surveillance  and 
occasional  harassment  and  expulsion  by  the  Congolese 
Government,  but  there  has  been  no  widespread  or  systematic 
forced  repatriation  of  refugees.   The  Congo  is  a  party  to  the 
U.N.  Convention  and  Protocol  Relating  to  the  Status  of 
Refugees,  and  a  representative  of  the  United  Nations  High 
Commissioner  for  Refugees  is  resident  in  Brazzaville. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  Congolese  people  do  not  have  the  right  to  change  their 
government  through  democratic  processes.   Under  the 
Constitution,  the  President  of  the  Central  Committee  of  the 
Congolese  Labor  Party  (PCT)  is  automatically  President  of  the 
Republic.   After  coming  to  power  in  a  surprise  Central 
Committee  maneuver  in  1979,  Colonel  Denis  Sassou-Nguesso  was 
reelected  by  regular  party  congresses  in  1984  and  1989.   The 
President  is  the  most  powerful  single  person  in  government, 
but  his  authority  is  limited  by  his  need  to  maintain  a 
consensus  in  the  Political  Bureau  and  within  the  larger 
Central  Committee.   The  Congolese  military,  whose  leadership 
is  drawn  primarily  from  the  north,  supports  the  Government, 


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and  its  officers  occupy  key  positions  among  the  ruling  group. 
Government  and  party  positions,  however,  are  awarded  to 
representatives  of  the  southern  and  eastern  ethnic  groups  in 
numbers  sufficient  to  ensure  their  support  or  acquiescence  and 
to  maintain  a  rough  regional  and  ethnic  political  balance. 

Opportunities  for  political  involvement  by  Congolese  citizens 
are  limited  to  the  Marxist-Leninist  Congolese  Labor  Party 
(PCT),  including  its  mass  organizations,  and  to  participation 
in  national,  regional,  and  local  assemblies.   The  PCT  is  the 
"supreme  social  and  political  organization."   No  other 
political  parties  are  permitted  to  operate,  and  political 
competition  takes  place  almost  exclusively  within  the  PCT 
framework.   PCT  membership  is  approximately  10,000  out  of  a 
population  of  some  2  million.   Membership  is  awarded  on  the 
basis  of  political  loyalty  and  public  service. 

The  national,  regional,  and  local  assemblies  are  elected  by 
universal  suffrage  from  single,  party-approved  lists,  which 
contain  only  one  candidate  for  each  seat.   The  selection 
process  can  involve  a  certain  amount  of  negotiation  within  the 
PCT,  and  incumbents  have  been  turned  out  of  office  in  the 
process.   National  Assembly  representatives  are  chosen  on  a 
merit  basis  from  a  broad  spectrum  of  the  population,  including 
party  members,  the  army,  small  farmers,  workers,  and 
representatives  of  religious  groups.   The  powers  of  the 
National  Assembly  are  limited,  but  its  debates  on  social  and 
economic  issues  have  some  impact.   Regional  and  local 
assemblies  may  discuss  issues  and  make  recommendations  before 
decisions  are  made  at  the  national  level.   The  last  elections 
for  the  national,  regional,  and  local  assemblies  took  place  in 
September  1989. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Congo  Government  rarely  publicizes  the  arrest,  trial,  or 
release  of  political  opponents.   Polite  listening  without 
response  is  standard  government  procedure  when  faced  with 
human  rights  inquiries  from  foreign  governments  or 
nongovernmental  organizations.   Foreign  journalists  have  been 
expelled  for  investigating  human  rights  issues,  such  as  the 
circumstances  under  which  political  detainees  are  held.   The 
Government  did  permit  AI  to  send  an  observer  to  the  1986 
bombing  trial.   It  did  not  respond,  however,  to  AI ' s 
subsequent  request  to  send  a  delegation  to  review  the  human 
rights  situation  or  to  its  1987  memorandum  concerning  the  1986 
trial.   There  are  no  human  rights  organizations  in  the  Congo. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Under  the  Constitution  there  is  no  official  discrimination 
based  on  race,  sex,  religion,  language,  or  social  status.   As 
previously  noted,  northerners,  especially  those  of  the  Cuvette 
region,  exert  strong  influence  in  politics  and  in  the  security 
services.   There  are  occasional  reports  of  mistreatment  of 
pygmies.   Such  incidents  seem  to  be  the  result  of  cultural 
friction  between  those  forest  dwellers  and  villagers,  rather 
than  government  policy,  which  specifically  calls  for 
integrating  the  pygmies  into  the  economy  and  society. 

Women  have  the  same  legal  rights  as  men  in  commerce,  politics, 
and  society.   Among  some  ethnic  groups,  women  are  often  the 


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chief  decisionmakers.   There  is  a  large  disparity,  however, 
between  salaries  for  men  and  women,  and  women  are  relegated  to 
a  secondary  role  in  the  modern  sectors  of  society.   This  also 
holds  for  rural  society  where  women  are  heavily  involved  in 
traditional  family  farming.   The  husband  has  considerable 
legal  or  actual  control  over  the  activities  of  his  spouse,  a 
control  usually  moderated  by  the  influence  of  the  extended 
family.   Congolese  women  may  not  receive  official  travel 
documents  without  the  permission  of  their  husband,  father,  or 
male  head  of  family. 

Anecdotal  evidence  suggests  violence  against  women,  for 
example  in  the  form  of  wife  beating,  is  not  widespread  in  the 
Congo.   However,  there  are  no  studies  or  statistics  available 
to  determine  more  precisely  the  extent  of  the  problem.   There 
are  no  specific  laws  addressing  violence  against  women  beyond 
those  protecting  individuals  regardless  of  sex.   Legal 
remedies  through  the  court  system  are  available  but  are  rarely 
used.   In  this  strongly  family-oriented  society,  informal 
remedies  through  the  extended  family  system  are  most  readily 
used.   The  Government  has  not  specifically  addressed  the  issue 
of  violence  against  women,  but  in  any  case  relies  on  the  PCT 
women's  organization  to  take  the  leadership  role  in  educating 
the  public  in  such  matters.   Female  genital  mutilation 
(circumcision)  is  not  practiced  among  the  Congolese;  it  may, 
however,  occasionally  be  found  among  West  Africans  resident  in 
Brazzaville  or  Pointe  Noire. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

The  labor  code  adopted  in  March  1975  provides  in  theory  for 
the  right  or  workers  to  associate.   In  practice,  given  its 
historically  active  political  role,  the  labor  movement  is 
scrutinized  closely  and  controlled  by  the  Government  and 
party,  largely  through  the  umbrella  union,  the  Congolese  Trade 
Union  Confederation  (CSC),  which  is  itself  an  appendage  of  the 
party.   No  group  is  allowed  to  form  an  independent, 
alternative  union  outside  the  party.   As  long  as  political 
subjects  are  avoided,  there  is  a  degree  of  democratic  dialog 
within  the  labor  movement  and  between  the  CSC  and  the 
Government . 

The  CSC  unions  are  prohibited  from  striking,  although  wildcat 
strikes  occur  with  relative  impunity. 

The  CSC  is  affiliated  with  the  Communist-controlled  World 
Federation  of  Trade  Unions  (WFTU) ,  but  it  is  free  to  and  does 
associate  with  other  international  and  regional  labor 
organizations.   As  a  reflection  of  the  Government's  efforts  to 
improve  contacts  with  Western  countries,  the  CSC  leadership  in 
1988  proposed  establishment  of  a  bilateral  relationship  with 
the  American  Federation  of  Labor  and  Congress  of  Industrial 
Organization's  (AFL/CIO)  African  American  Labor  Center 
(AALC) .   However,  the  AFL/CIO's  policy  against  association 
with  WFTU-af filiated  unions  has  limited  the  contacts  and 
prevented  Congolese  participation  in  AALC-sponsored  activities. 

Despite  government  assertions  that  the  single  trade  union 
system  results  from  the  common  will  of  the  workers  and  from 
political,  economic,  and  historical  development,  the 
International  Labor  Organization's  (ILO)  Committee  of  Experts 
again  in  1989  noted  that  a  trade  union  monopoly  established  by 
legislation  is  in  violation  of  ILO  Convention  87  on  Freedom  of 


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Association,  which  the  Congo  has  ratified,  and  has  urged  the 
Government  to  bring  its  legislation  into  conformity. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

The  CSC  is  represented  in  every  ministry  and  state-owned 
enterprise  and  serves  on  management  boards  along  with  a  member 
of  the  Government  and  the  party.   Known  as  the  "determinant 
trilogy,"  this  structure  is  responsible  for  ensuring  that  the 
three  major  points  of  view  are  represented  in  the 
decisionmaking  process  and  serves  as  Congo's  form  of 
collective  bargaining  in  both  the  public  and  private  sectors. 
While  no  alternatives  to  strikes  exist,  the  local  unions 
within  the  CSC  have  been  able,  in  some  instances,  to  persuade 
the  Government  to  provide  workers  with  increased  benefits, 
including  wage  increases.   The  entire  Congolese  labor  force  is 
treated  equally  under  the  law;  there  are  no  exceptions  such  as 
those  granted,  for  example,  to  export  processing  zones,  of 
which  the  Congo  has  none. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

There  were  no  reports  of  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  which  is 
legally  prohibited. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  minimum  age  for  employment  of  children  is  16.   Outside  the 
Government  and  major  employers,  this  minimum  is  often  ignored, 
especially  in  small  family  enterprises  or  family  farms  in  the 
subsistence  agricultural  sector. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Working  conditions  for  the  50  percent  of  the  population  in  the 
modern  sector  are  generally  good  and  include  a  social  security 
system.   These  conditions  include  a  maximum  40-hour  workweek, 
at  least  1  day  of  rest  per  week,  family  benefits,  severance 
pay,  and  medical  care.   The  minimum  monthly  wage  is  $85  for 
urban  employees.   Domestic  workers  must  be  paid  at  least  $75 
monthly.   Outside  the  Government,  large  corporations,  and 
foreign  enterprises,  these  minimums  are  often  ignored.   While 
many  salaried  Congolese  have  a  rather  high  standard  of  working 
conditions  and  social  benefits,  the  minimum  wage  does  not 
provide  a  decent  standard  of  living  for  a  worker  and  his 
family.   Workers  at  this  wage  level  and  many  others  in  the 
informal  sector  are  dependent  upon  the  extended  family, 
including  other  salaried  family  members,  and  some  subsistence 
farming,  in  which  most  of  the  rural  population  is  still 
engaged.   There  is  a  code  of  occupational  safety  and  health, 
although  it,  too,  is  not  rigidly  enforced. 


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Power  in  Cote  d'lvoire  is  concentrated  in  the  Democratic  Party 
of  Cote  d'lvoire  (PDCI)  and  its  long-time  leader.  President 
Felix  Houphouet-Boigny,  who  is  in  his  mid-to-late  eighties. 
Although  the  freedom  to  form  other  parties  is  provided  for  in 
the  Constitution,  in  practice  no  other  party  has  been  allowed 
to  participate  in  the  political  process.   Basic  policies  are 
set  within  the  PDCI;  the  unicameral  National  Assembly  has  never 
publicly  challenged  a  policy  put  forth  by  the  party. 

The  Ministry  of  Internal  Security  includes  the  Surete  Nationals 
and  the  gendarmerie,  the  national  police,  structured  along 
French  lines.   The  Surete  has  an  arm  tasked  with  intelligence 
gathering  and  counterespionage  responsibilities.   The 
gendarmerie  is  responsible  for  territorial  security,  especially 
in  the  rural  areas. 

During  the  1980 's  Cote  d'lvoire  has  been  squeezed  by  a  heavy 
debt  burden  and  falling  prices  for  its  exports,  principally 
coffee,  cocoa,  and  tropical  woods,  and  per  capita  income  has 
slipped  in  recent  years  from  well  over  $1,000  to  $740.   In  1989 
the  economy  continued  to  decline  and  the  financial  situation 
remained  critical.   A  new  International  Monetary  Fund  and  World 
Bank  financial  package  was  being  assembled  at  the  end  of  1989. 

In  1989  human  rights  remained  circumscribed.   The  President 
continued  to  advocate  dialog  with  dissenters  in  settling 
disputes,  but  it  is  unclear  if  this  has  eased  the  lingering 
threat  of  detentions  and  conscriptions,  such  as  those  which 
took  place  in  1988,  and  their  stifling  effect  on  critics, 
including  students,  teachers,  and  trade  unionists.   One 
businessman  was  widely  believed  to  have  been  convicted  on 
manufactured  charges  because  of  his  connection  with  a 
well-known  dissident.   Other  areas  of  human  rights  abridgement 
included  restrictions  on  freedom  of  speech  and  press,  academic 
freedom,  and  freedom  of  assembly  and  association;  and 
limitations  on  women's  and  worker  rights,  and  the  right  of 
citizens  to  change  their  government  through  democratic  means. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1  Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  political  or  extrajudicial  killings  in 
1989. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  officially  sanctioned  abduction  or 
disappearance. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  Penal  Code  prohibits  official  violence  without  "legitimate 
justification."  The  Code  does  not,  however,  specifically 
mention  or  prohibit  torture,  or  the  level  of  violence  officials 
may  use  if  "justified."  While  there  were  no  confirmed  reports 
of  torture  in  1989,  foreign  Africans  are  routinely  treated  more 
roughly  by  police  on  arrest  than  are  Ivorians.   This  rough 
treatment  is  reported  to  include  beatings,  often  with  the 
objective  of  extracting  a  confession. 


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d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

The  Constitution  and  pertinent  statutes  prohibit  arbitrary 
arrest  or  imprisonment.   The  Government  has,  however, 
occasionally  detained  persons  considered  a  threat  to  internal 
security.   The  Government  has  also  used  the  threat  of  forced 
conscription,  such  as  that  which  occurred  in  1988,  to 
discourage  student  and  trade  union  efforts  peacefully  to  oppose 
the  Government  or  its  policies.   In  1988,  20  former  officials 
or  members  of  the  Secondary  Schoolteachers'  Union  were  detained 
and  conscripted  into  varying  lengths  of  military  service. 

Under  the  Code  of  Penal  Procedure,  a  public  prosecutor  can 
order  the  detention  of  a  suspect  for  up  to  48  hours  without 
bringing  charges.   The  Code  dictates  that  further  detention 
must  be  ordered  by  a  magistrate  who  can  authorize  periods  of  up 
to  4  months,  but  who  must  also  provide  the  Minister  of  Justice, 
on  a  monthly  basis,  with  a  written  justification  for  continued 
detention.   There  have  been  unconfirmed  reports  that  local 
police  have  held  persons  for  more  than  48  hours  in  a  few 
cases.   Bail  is -technically  available  but  is  not  commonly 
provided.   Defendants  are  not  guaranteed  the  right  to  a 
judicial  determination  of  the  legality  of  their  detention. 

Some  prominent  critics  of  the  Government  have  chosen  to  live 
and  write  in  other  countries  (see  Section  2. a.).   Political 
exiles  from  a  number  of  countries  have  found  Cote  d'lvoire  to 
be  a  hospitable  safe  haven. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  modern  judicial  system  is  headed  by  a  Supreme  Court  and 
includes  a  Court  of  Appeals  and  lower  courts.   Although  the 
judiciary  is  generally  considered  independent  of  the  executive 
in  practice  as  well  as  under  the  Constitution's  separation  of 
powers  provisions,  the  judiciary  follows  the  lead  of  the 
executive  in  cases  concerning  perceived  national  security 
issues.   There  have  also  been  credible  reports  that  the  courts 
have  given  lenient  treatment  to  individuals  with  personal 
connections  to  the  Government.   One  businessman,  Innocente 
Anaky,  is  widely  believed  to  have  been  convicted  of  trumped-up 
charges  of  financial  impropriety  because  of  his  connections  to 
prominent  dissident  Laurent  Gbagbo.   Anaky  is  currently  serving 
a  lengthy  prison  sentence. 

Defendants  have  the  right  to  be  present  at  their  trials. 
Innocence  is  presumed,  and  defendants  have  the  right  of  appeal, 
although  in  practice  verdicts  are  rarely  overturned. 
Defendants  accused  of  felonies  or  capital  crimes  have  the  right 
to  legal  counsel,  and  the  judicial  system  provides  for 
court-appointed  attorneys  for  indigent  defendants.   In 
practice,  however,  many  defendants  cannot  afford  private 
counsel,  and  court-appointed  attorneys  are  not  readily 
available. 

Ivorian  law  establishes  the  right  to  a  fair  public  trial.   This 
provision  is  generally  respected  in  urban  areas.   In  rural 
areas,  justice  is  often  administered  at  the  village  level 
through  traditional  institutions  which  handle  domestic 
disputes,  minor  land  questions,  and  family  law.   Dispute 
resolution  is  by  extended  debate,  with  no  known  instances  of 
resort  to  physical  or  similar  punishment.   These  traditional 
courts  are  increasingly  superseded  by  the  formal  judicial 
system. 


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Civilians  are  not  tried  by  military  courts.   There  are  no 
appellate  courts  within  the  military  justice  system.   Persons 
convicted  by  a  military  tribunal  occasionally  request  the 
Supreme  Court  to  set  aside  the  tribunal's  verdict  and  order  a 
retrial . 

The  number  of  political  prisoners  is  unknown,  but  is  believed 
to  be  small. 

f .   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

All  Ivorians  are  considered  to  be  members  of  the  PDCI.   Party 
regulations  call  for  active  participation  in  party  activities 
and  payments  of  dues,  which  are  collected  in  most  cases  through 
deductions  from  paychecks.   Most  party  regulations,  however, 
are  not  strictly  enforced,  and  Ivorians  who  choose  not  to 
participate  do  not  suffer  retaliation. 

The  Code  of  Penal  Procedure  specifies  that  a  police  official  or 
investigative  magistrate  may  conduct  searches  of  homes  without 
a  warrant  if  there  is  reason  to  believe  there  is  evidence  on 
the  premises  concerning  a  crime.   The  official  must  have  the 
prosecutor's  agreement  to  retain  any  objects  seized  in  the 
search  and  is  required  to  have  witnesses  to  the  search,  which 
may  not  take  place  between  the  hours  of  9  p.m.  and  4  a.m. 
Legal  safeguards  against  arbitrary  searches  are  generally 
respected  in  urban  areas,  although  there  have  been  reports  of 
police  entering  homes  of  foreign  Africans,  taking  them  to  the 
local  police  station,  and  extorting  small  amounts  of  money  for 
alleged  minor  offenses.   Safeguards  against  arbitrary  searches 
are  also  believed  to  be  ignored  on  occasion  in  the  countryside. 

In  1988  there  were  some  reports  that  armed  members  of  the 
gendarmerie  were  directly  involved  in  robberies  of  civilians, 
particularly  on  the  highways.   There  were  no  such  reports  in 
1989;  however,  there  were  continuing  reports,  difficult  to 
substantiate,  of  police  roundups  of  foreign  Africans,  also  with 
the  intention  of  extorting  money.   Private  telephone 
conversations  are  monitored  to  some  degree,  although  it  is 
difficult  to  estimate  the  extent  of  such  monitoring.   There  is 
no  evidence  that  private  correspondence  is  monitored. 

Section  2  Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Free  expression  in  Cote  d'lvoire  is  provided  for  in  the 
Constitution  but  significantly  limited  in  practice.   Public 
criticism  of  basic  government  policies,  the  party,  or  the 
President,  rarely  occurs.   Critics  of  the  Government  express 
themselves  in  informal  situations  without  fear  of  reprisal. 

Government  policy  assigns  the  media  a  positive  role  in 
promoting  national  unity  and  development,  allowing  criticism  of 
failures  to  execute  policy  but  not  criticism  of  the  policies 
themselves.   Investigative  journalism  is  not  permitted  with 
respect  to  the  Government  and  its  policies.   The  Government 
operates  radio,  television,  and  a  wire  service,  and  owns 
majority  shares  in  the  two  daily  newspapers.   There  are  also 
two  weekly  newsmagazines  which  are  controlled  by  the  party. 
All  of  these  media  follow  government  policies.   Several 
periodic  pamphlets  are  published  privately. 


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COTE  D'lVOIRE 

In  April  Vice  President  of  the  National  Assembly  Bamba  was 
detained  for  carrying  political  tracts  advocating  a  multiparty 
system.   He  was  released  and  retains  his  elected  position  as 
Deputy  in  the  National  Assembly. 

Academic  freedom  is  restricted.   A  university  professor,  Pascal 
Kokora,  was  fired  from  his  job  in  January  1988  after  having  his 
linguistics  class  compare  Ivorian  and  foreign  news  reports  of 
the  trial  of  former  Secondary  Schoolteachers'  Union  officials. 
As  no  alternative  work  was  available  for  him,  he  left  the 
country  after  several  months.   This  report  last  year  indicated 
that  Kokora  was  given  his  job  back  in  September  1988;  in  fact, 
he  was  not  reinstated  and  has  once  again  left  the  country. 

Laurent  Gbagbo,  generally  considered  to  be  Cote  d'lvoire's 
leading  dissident,  lived  in  voluntary  exile  in  France  from  1983 
to  1988,  when  he  returned  and  was  given  a  job  at  the 
university.   In  his  current  position,  Gbagbo  is  limited  to 
research  activities  and  publishing  in  scientific  journals,  and 
he  is  not  allowed  to  have  significant  contact  with  students. 
In  general,  professors  and  students  report  that  they  are  afraid 
to  express  antigovernment  sentiments  in  any  public  forum. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Freedom  of  assembly  is  guaranteed  by  the  Constitution,  but  in 
practice  is  restricted  when  the  Government  perceives  a 
significant  and  immediate  danger  to  public  order  (which  can 
include  the  expression  of  unwelcome  political  views) . 
Gatherings  occasionally  are  canceled  to  prevent  the  expression 
of  controversial  views  in  public  forums.   Only  nonpolitical 
gatherings  are  permitted  on  campus. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

There  are  no  known  impediments  to  religious  expression.   There 
is  no  dominant  religion,  and  no  faith  is  officially  favored  by 
the  Government.   The  open  practice  of  religion  is  permitted, 
and  there  are  no  restrictions  on  religious  ceremonies  or 
teaching . 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  Government  exercises  minimal  control  over  domestic  travel 
but  has  increased  internal  security  roadblocks  for  identity  and 
customs  checks.   Persons  stopped  at  such  roadblocks  are 
frequently  harassed  and  "fined"  for  one  minor  infraction  or 
another.   In  1989,  at  one  checkpoint  in  Abidjan,  security 
forces  slapped  an  American  citizen  and  beat  her  French  citizen 
husband  without  cause  other  than  perceived  verbal  insolence. 
The  army  subsequently  initiated  an  inquiry  and  suspended  the 
corporal  in  charge  of  the  patrol  pending  the  inquiry's  findings, 

Although  Professor  Kokora  initially  had  some  problems  obtaining 
a  passport,  Ivorians  normally  can  travel  abroad  and  emigrate 
freely.   Ivorians  have  the  right  of  voluntary  repatriation. 
There  are  no  known  cases  of  revocation  of  citizenship. 

Cote  d'lvoire's  refugee  and  asylum  practices  are  liberal.   The 
country  has  resettled  or  granted  safe  haven  to  many  refugees 
from  many  different  countries.   In  1989  approximately  800 


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COTE  D'lVOIRE 

refugees,  mostly  Africans  from  vneighboring  countries,  entered 
the  country.   While  in  Cote  d'lvoire,  refugees  receive  1-year, 
renewable  resident  visas  for  their  first  5  years  in  the 
country,  after  which  they  may  apply  for  permanent  residence. 
Cote  d'lvoire  does  not  take  any  significant  responsibility  for 
the  economic  and  social  welfare  of  refugees,  who  become  the 
concern  of  private  and  international  organizations. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

While  in  theory  the  citizens  of  Cote  d'lvoire  have  the  right  to 
a  multiparty  system,  in  practice  they  are  unable  to  change  the 
one-party  system  of  government.   (The  President  recently 
restated  his  long-held  position  that  Cote  d'lvoire  is  "not  yet 
ripe"  for  a  multiparty  system.)   No  opposition  groups  exist 
openly,  and  the  Government  does  not  allow  their  formation. 
Within  the  PDCI ,  the  President  wields  power  through  a  13-member 
Executive  Committee,  a  57-raember  Political  Bureau,  and  a 
208-member  Steering  Committee.   Political  power  is  concentrated 
in  the  President's  hands,  and  most  important  decisions  are  m.ade 
by  the  President  himself.   The  175-seat  National  Assembly 
confirms  and  ratifies  legislative  initiatives  received  from  the 
President . 

Within  this  strict  one-party  system,  the  Government  continues 
to  encourage  more  open  participation  in  the  political  process 
by  expanding  the  size  of  party  institutions  and  by  permitting 
more  party  members  to  compete  in  legislative,  municipal,  and 
local  party  elections.   In  1989  an  important  mayoral  race  in 
San  Pedro  was  hotly,  and  by  all  accounts  fairly,  contested. 

Section  4  Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  is  not  a  party  to  international  human  rights 
accords  but  has  been  cooperative  in  the  past  towards 
international  inquiries  into  its  human  rights  practices.   It 
did  not  respond  publicly  to  Amnesty  International's  appeals  in 
1988  on  behalf  of  the  Secondary  Schoolteachers'  Union,  and  it  . 
is  thus  not  known  what  impact,  if  any,  these  appeals  may  have 
had  on  the  Government's  subsequent  positive  action. 

In  1987  a  group  of  Ivorians  formed  an  internal  Human  Rights 
Association.   The  Government  has  repeatedly  refused  to 
recognize  this  association  and  has  not  allowed  local 
journalists  to  attend  the  two  press  conferences  it  has  held. 
Under  these  circumstances  the  group's  ability  to  investigate 
and  report  on  alleged  human  rights  violations  has  been  very 
limited. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

There  is  no  overt,  official  discrimination  based  on  race,  sex, 
religion,  language,  or  social  status.   Although  French  is  the 
official  language  and  the  language  of  instruction  in  the 
schools,  radio  and  television  broadcasts  are  provided  in  major 
local  languages.   Social  and  economic  mobility  are  not  limited 
by  policy  or  custom. 

Males  clearly  play  the  preponderant  role  overall,  although  some 
Ivorian  traditional  societies  accord  women  considerable 
political  and  economic  power.   Nonetheless,  in  rural  areas 


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tribal  customs  dictate  that  menial  tasks  are  performed  mostly 
by  women.   Although  PDCI  policy  is  to  encourage  full 
participation  by  women  in  social  and  economic  life,  there  is 
considerable  informal  resistance  among  employers  to  hiring 
women,  who  may  be  considered  "undependable"  by  virtue  of 
potential  pregnancy. 

Female  genital  mutilation  (i.e.,  clitorectomy)  is  widely 
practiced  in  Cote  d'lvoire,  particularly  among  the  rural  Muslim 
population  in  the  north  and  west.   The  operation,  which  takes 
place  at  puberty  as  one  element  of  a  rite  of  passage,  is 
generally  performed  outside  modern  medical  facilities. 
Clitoral  excision  is  illegal  in  Cote  d'lvoire,  but  the 
Government  does  not  make  strong  efforts  to  prevent  the 
practice,  and  social  pressures  are  sufficiently  strong  that  it 
persists,  particularly  in  small  villages  where  the  tribal  chief 
is  the  primary  decisionmaker.   Excision  is  becoming  less 
frequent  as  the  population  becomes  better  educated. 

Violence  against  women,  especially  wife  beating,  is  neither 
widely  practiced  nor  tacitly  condoned.   However, 
representatives  of  womens '  organizations  state  that  wife 
beating  does  occur,  often  leading  to  divorce.   Doctors  state 
that  they  rarely  see  the  victims  of  domestic  violence.   A 
severe  social  stigma  is  attached  to  domestic  violence  of  any 
kind;  neighbors  will  often  intervene  in  a  domestic  quarrel  to 
protect  an  individual  who  is  the  object  of  physical  abuse.   The 
courts  and  police  view  domestic  violence  as  a  family  problem 
unless  serious  bodily  harm  is  inflicted,  in  which  case  criminal 
proceedings  do  take  place.   The  Government  has  no  clear-cut 
policy  regarding  wife  beating  beyond  the  obvious  strictures 
against  violence  in  the  Civil  Code. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

Workers  have  the  right  to  form  unions  under  the  Labor  Code  of 
1964,  but  almost  all  unions  are  organized  within  a  single 
government-sponsored  labor  confederation,  the  General  Union  of 
Cote  d'lvoire  Workers  (UGTCI).   Only  the  University  Teachers' 
Union  is  independent  of  the  confederation. 

The  leader  of  the  UGTCI  occupies  a  senior  position  in  the  party 
hierarchy.   Union  membership  is  encouraged  but  not  mandatory. 
The  UGTCI  is  a  relatively  passive  coordination  mechanism  rather 
than  an  active  force  for  worker  rights,  although  it  has  had 
some  success  in  improving  working  conditions  and  safety 
standards.   The  UGTCI  represents  approximately  one-third  to 
one-half  of  the  organizable  work  force. 

The  right  to  strike  is  protected  by  statute,  but  in  practice 
strikes  are  rarely  authorized  by  the  UGTCI.   There  were  no 
official  strikes  in  1988,  although  there  were  several  "work 
stoppages."   For  example,  workers  in  a  factory  near  the  capital 
stopped  work  to  protest  a  management  plan  to  reorder 
production.   In  this  case,  as  usually  happens,  the  Government 
stepped  in  to  mediate.   In  1989  reliable  sources  suggested  that 
some  wildcat  strikes  occurred  without  receiving  publicity  or 
being  officially  acknowledged. 

Generally,  the  Government  negotiates  with  strikers  and  resolves 
at  least  some  of  their  economic  grievances.   In  the  1987-1988 
dispute  with  the  secondary  schoolteachers,  the  Government  used 
a  variety  of  powers  to  coerce  the  teachers  back  to  their  jobs. 


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This  included  arrest  and  detention  of  20  of  them  and 
conscription  of  several  men  into  military  service.   There  were 
no  reports  that  professional  groups  experienced  persecution  or 
harassment  in  1989. 

The  UGTCI  formally  prohibits  its  individual  trade  unions  from 
forming  or  maintaining  affiliations  with  international 
professional  organizations  in  their  fields,  with  the  exception 
of  the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

In  theory,  collective  bargaining  is  protected  by  the  Labor 
Code.   In  practice,  however,  only  the  UGTCI  is  allowed  to 
engage  in  collective  bargaining  with  individual  companies.   The 
UGTCI  has  representatives  in  every  major  business  enterprise, 
and  the  UGTCI  Secretariat  often  plays  a  mediation  or 
conciliation  role  in  relations  between  labor  and  management  in 
individual  businesses.   There  are  no  export  processing  zones  in 
Cote  d'lvoire,  although  there  is  some  discussion  about  creating 
such  zones  in  the  future.   Labor  legislation,  to  the  extent  it 
is  applied,  is  applied  uniformly  throughout  the  country. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

There  have  been  no  reports  of  forced  labor  in  Cote  d'lvoire, 
and  it  is  prohibited  by  law. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

In  most  instances,  the  legal  working  minimum  age  of  16  is 
enforced  among  government  employees  and  among  large 
multinational  companies.   However,  children  often  work  on 
family  farms,  and  in  Abidjan  some  children  routinely  act  as 
vendors  of  consumer  goods  in  the  informal  sector.   There  are 
also  reports  of  children  working  in  what  could  be  described  as 
sweatshop  conditions  in  small  workshops.   Many  children  leave 
the  formal  school  system  at  an  early  age;  lower  grade  education 
is  mandatory  but  far  from  universally  enforced,  particularly  in 
the  rural  areas. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

The  Government  enforces  a  comprehensive  labor  code  governing 
the  terms  and  conditions  of  service  for  wage  earners  and 
salaried  workers  and  providing  for  occupational  safety  and 
health  standards.   Those  employed  in  the  modern  sector  are 
reasonably  protected  against  unjust  compensation,  excessive 
hours,  and  capricious  discharge  from  employment.   The  standard 
workweek  is  44  hours.   Minimum  wages  vary  according  to 
occupation,  with  the  lowest  being  approximately  $110  per 
month.   This  does  not  provide  a  decent  standard  of  living  for  a 
worker  and  his  family.   Government  medical  insurance  and 
retirement  programs  provide  an  element  of  income  security  for 
salaried  employees  in  the  modern  sector.   Month-long  paid 
vacations  and  a  substantial  severance  pay  are  also  guaranteed. 
There  is,  however,  a  large  informal  sector  of  the  economy, 
involving  both  urban  and  especially  rural  workers,  in  which 
many  of  these  occupational  regulations  are  enforced  erratically 
at  best. 


DJIBOUTI 

Djibouti  is  a  one-party  state  ruled  since  independence  in  1977 
by  President  Hassan  Gouled  Aptidon  and  his  People's  Assembly 
for  Progress  (RPP)  which  has  been  the  only  lawful  political 
party  since  1981.   Public  life  in  Djibouti  is  dominated  by  two 
ethnic  groups,  the  politically  predominant  Issa  (the  tribe  of 
the  President)  and  the  largest  single  tribe,  the  Afar.   The 
presidency  is  considered  to  be  reserved  for  an  Issa  and  the 
prime  ministry  for  an  Afar.   Real  authority  in  the  Government, 
civil  service,  party,  and  armed  forces  is  in  Issa  hands. 

Djibouti's  security  services,  all  under  government  control, 
include  an  army  of  about  3,500  total  personnel  (primarily 
ground  forces  with  small  naval  and  air  units),  and  three 
national  police  forces:   the  National  Security  Force  and  the 
National  Police,  both  under  the  Ministry  of  the  Interior,  and 
the  Gendarmerie,  under  the  Ministry  of  Defense,  which  has  been 
involved  in  human  rights  violations.   France  guarantees 
Djibouti's  external  security  and  maintains  a  force  of  about 
3,800  military  and  naval  personnel  in  Djibouti. 

Djibouti's  narrowly  based  fledgling  economy  depends  almost 
entirely  on  services  to  its  (mostly  French)  10,000  expatriate 
residents  and  operation  of  the  seaport,  airport,  and 
Djibouti-Addis  Ababa  railroad.   Although  the  State  is  the 
largest  employer,  individuals  are  free  to  pursue  private 
business  interests  and  to  hold  personal  and  real  property. 

Human  rights  in  Djibouti  remained  tightly  circumscribed  in 
1989.   Areas  of  concern  included:   the  continued  denial  of 
political  pluralism,  in  particular  the  domination  of  the 
Government  and  single  legal  political  party  by  the  Issa  tribe; 
restrictions  on  freedoms  of  speech,  press,  and  assembly; 
refusal  to  recognize  the  refugee  rights  of  Somali  nationals 
fleeing  the  Somali  civil  war;  incidents  of  arbitrary  arrest, 
detention,  and  deportation;  and  allegations  of  the  use  of 
torture  by  the  security  services. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  was  no  politically  motivated  killing,  but  at  least  one 
person  died  while  in  official  custody.   This  occurred  after 
the  authorities,  in  the  city  of  Tadjourah  in  June,  arrested 
five  persons  who  protested  the  method  of  distribution  of 
emergency  relief  food  aid.   A  young  Afar  man  died  under 
unexplained  circumstances  in  a  hospital  while  in  police 
custody  (see  Section  I.e.). 

b.  Disappearance 

There  was  no  disappearance  of  persons  for  political  reasons. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

According  to  credible  reports,  in  1989  branches  of  the 
Gendarmerie  in  particular  carried  out  brutal  interrogations  of 
some  detainees  (including  Somali  refugees),  which  included 
beatings  and  other  physical  abuse,  and  there  were  allegations 


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DJIBOUTI 

of  methodical  torture  of  detainees  in  isolated  cases.   The 
death  in  a  hospital  of  a  young  Afar  man  while  under 
Gendarmerie  custody  in  the  spring  sparked  renewed  public 
allegations  of  torture  by  the  security  authorities.   The 
Government  did  not  comment  publicly  on  this  incident. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

By  law,  a  person  may  be  detained  no  more  than  48  hours  without 
an  examining  magistrate's  formal  charge.   In  practice,  this 
deadline  is  ignored  in  cases  of  political  interest.   An 
accused  has  the  right  to  legal  counsel,  which  is  provided  by 
the  State,  if  the  accused  is  destitute.   An  accused  person 
awaiting  trial  may,  by  a  judge's  order,  be  released  on  bail  or 
on  personal  recognizance,  or  be  jailed  pending  the  final 
verdict. 

The  Director  of  a  prominent  U.S.  human  rights  organization  was 
detained  in  1989  for  4  days  without  charge,  while  undertaking 
to  ascertain  the  situation  of  Somali  refugees  (see  Section 
2.d.)  . 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Djibouti's  legal  system  is  a  mixture  of  Djiboutian  legislation 
and  executive  decrees,  French  codified  law  adopted  at 
independence,  Shari'a  (Islamic  religious  law),  and  traditions 
of  the  native  nomadic  peoples.   Crimes  in  urban  areas  are 
dealt  with  according  to  French-inspired  law  and  judicial 
practice  in  the  regular  courts.   Civil  actions  may  be  brought 
under  either  French-inspired  law  in  the  regular  courts  or  in 
the  context  of  tribal  customs  in  the  traditional  court. 
Shari'a  courts  handle  only  family  matters  such  as  marriage, 
divorce,  child  custody,  and  inheritance.   Decisions  of  all 
three  courts  may  be  appealed  to  an  appeals  court  of  the  same 
system.   Appellate  decisions  of  all  three  court  systems  may  be 
appealed  to  the  country's  Supreme  Court. 

The  Tunisian  national  charged  with  the  fatal  1987  terrorist 
bombing  of  an  outdoor  cafe  remained  in  prison  awaiting  trial 
at  the  end  of  1989. 

A  special  State  Security  Court  may  hear  in  closed  session 
cases  of  espionage,  treason,  and  acts  threatening  the  public 
order  or  the  "interest  of  the  Republic."   This  Court  last 
convened  in  1986. 

Proceedings  in  all  courts  except  the  State  Security  Court  are 
open  to  the  public.   The  judiciary  appears  to  be  generally 
sympathetic  to  the  government  position  and  susceptible  to 
government  influence  in  cases  of  political  interest. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

There  were  no  reported  incidents  of  arbitrary  interference 
with  privacy,  family,  home,  or  correspondence  in  1989. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

These  freedoms  are  restricted.   Those  who  express  public  views 
that  are  critical  of,  or  perceived  as  threatening  to,  the 


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Government  face  prosecution  for  common  crimes  or  detention  for 
days  or  weeks  without  charge. 

Djibouti's  radio  and  television  stations  and  one  newspaper  (a 
French-language  weekly)  are  all  government  owned  and 
operated.   All  media  personnel  are  civil  servants.   The 
Government's  avowed  policy  is  to  coordinate  the  dissemination 
of  all  information  in  the  interest  of  national  development. 
The  news  media  do  report  on  social  and  national  development 
problems  within  Djibouti,  but  the  Government  itself,  its 
policies,  and  those  of  neighboring  governments  are  free  from 
criticism.   The  media  largely  avoid  reporting  on  domestic 
politics  and  ethnic  strife  in  Djibouti,  Ethiopia,  and  Somalia. 

The  editor-in-chief  of  the  newspaper  was  removed  from  office 
in  April  1989  (and  later  reassigned  to  another  ministry)  after 
publication  of  articles  unflattering  to  the  Government  of 
France.   In  addition,  a  journalist  was  arrested,  held  for 
3  weeks,  and  subsequently  dismissed  from  his  job  in  connection 
with  the  distribution  of  antigovernment  tracts  in  Tadjourah. 

As  a  rule,  the  Government  does  not  censor  or  forbid  the 
importation  of  books  and  newspapers,  but  in  1989  the 
Government  banned  importation  of  the  book  "The  Satanic  Verses." 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  Government  effectively  bans  political  protest  by  selective 
enforcement  of  public  assembly  permit  laws  and  by  detention  of 
persons  without  charge.   (Detainees  in  such  cases  are  usually 
released  with  no  ill-treatment  within  a  matter  of  days,  though 
often  not  within  the  legally  mandated  48-hour  period  within 
which  charges  must  be  filed.)   In  1989  public  demonstrations 
in  protest  of  the  death  of  the  Afar  held  in  custody  in 
Tadjourah  resulted  in  the  arrests  of  about  25  persons,  of  whom 
11  were  sentenced  to  6  months  in  prison  for  unauthorized 
demonstration  against  the  authority  of  the  State. 

Permits  for  political  meetings  are  not  issued  outside  party 
auspices;  it  appears  that  permits  for  such  purposes  are  sought 
only  rarely.   Peaceful  assembly  and  association  for 
nonpolitical  purposes  are  routinely  permitted. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Djibouti  respects  freedom  of  religion  for  all  faiths, 
virtually  the  entire  population  is  Sunni  Muslim.   The  holy 
days  of  Islam  are  legal  holidays.   The  Government  and  all 
private  offices  observe  Islam's  month  of  Ramadan  with  a 
shortened  workday.   However,  the  Government  imposes  no 
sanctions  on  those  who  choose  to  ignore  Islamic  teachings  on 
diet,  alcohol  consumption,  religious  fasting,  etc. 

The  expatriate  community  supports  Roman  Catholic,  French 
Protestant,  Greek  Orthodox,  and  Ethiopian  Orthodox  churches. 
Less  than  1  percent  of  the  population  belong  to  these 
Christian  congregations.   Foreign  clergy  and  missionaries  may 
perform  charitable  works,  but  proselytization  is  a  sensitive 
issue  and,  while  not  illegal,  is  strongly  discouraged. 


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DJIBOUTI 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Djiboutians  travel  freely  within  Djibouti  and  may  live  and 
work  where  they  choose.   In  1989  the  police  increased  document 
checkpoints  aimed  at  controlling  crime  and  especially  the 
influx  of  illegal  aliens  and  refugees  from  neighboring 
Ethiopia  and  Somalia.   Djiboutians  leave  for,  and  return  from, 
international  travel  without  restriction  or  interference. 
Passports  are  available  to  all  Djiboutians  but  are  invalid  for 
travel  to  Israel  and  South  Africa. 

Djibouti  cooperates  with  the  United  Nations  High  Commissioner 
for  Refugees  (UNHCR)  to  assist  and  protect  the  approximately 
1,500  registered  Ethiopian  refugees  in  Djibouti  city.   As  a 
matter  of  policy,  however,  the  Government  does  not  recognize 
as  refugees  the  approximately  30,000  Somali  nationals  who  have 
fled  the  Somali  civil  war. 

Although  the  Government  has  an  informal  agreement  with  the 
UNHCR  that  these  refugees  will  not  be  forcibly  repatriated  if 
they  do  not  "cause  trouble,"  the  UNHCR  in  fact  has  limited 
ability  to  extend  protection  to  these  individuals.   The  police 
routinely  conduct  sweeps  of  people  thought  to  be  illegal 
aliens,  and  some  Somali  refugees  have  been  deported  as  a 
result.   Africa  Watch's  October  1989  report  indicates  that 
many  refugees  may  have  perished  during  the  forced  repatriation 
in  June  of  125  people  into  an  isolated  area  of  Somalia.   One 
refugee  reported  that  they  were  pushed  across  the  border  into 
Somalia  without  shoes,  water,  or  food.   To  avoid  the  heat  they 
walked  during  the  night.   At  least  4  of  his  group  of  20 
reportedly  died  of  thirst  during  the  trek. 

Djibouti's  treatment  of  Somali  refugees  came  in  for  serious 
criticism  from  international  human  rights  organizations, 
particularly  over  several  instances  of  expulsion  of  Somali 
refugees  into  northern  Somalia.   Amnesty  International  (AI)  in 
December  1988  and  Africa  Watch  in  December  1989  appealed  to 
the  Government  to  ensure  that  no  refugees  would  be  forced  to 
return  to  their  country  of  origin  or  coerced,  ill-treated,  or 
arrested  if  they  opposed  repatriation. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Djiboutians  have  neither  the  right  nor  the  ability  peacefully 
to  change  their  government.   The  Issa-dominated  People's 
Assembly  for  Progress  (RPP)  jealously  guards  its  position  as 
Djibouti's  only  political  party,  a  status  it  has  enjoyed  since 
the  Afar-dominated  Djiboutian  People's  Movement  (MPD)  was 
outlawed  in  1981.   The  party  chooses  the  candidates  for  the 
presidency  and  the  65-member  National  Assembly,  a  legislative 
body  with  no  real  power.   Presidential  elections  are  held 
every  7  years,  and  elections  for  the  National  Assembly  every  5 
years.   Citizens  are  encouraged  to  vote,  but  their  only  choice 
is  whether  to  cast  a  ballot  for  or  against  the  party's 
candidates.   The  two  different  ballots  must  be  cast  in 
different  boxes,  making  it  obvious  who  votes  against  the  party. 

Section  4   Government  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  has  been  responsive  in  recent  years  to 
inquiries  concerning  human  rights  practices,  but  it  has  taken 


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DJIBOUTI 

no  action  to  resolve  the  problems  addressed  by  AI's  and  Africa 
Watch's  appeals  on  treatment  of  refugees.   There  are  no 
private  human  rights  organizations  in  Djibouti. 

The  Government  speaks  out  about  human  rights  practices  in  the 
Israeli-administered  territories  and  in  the  Republic  of  South 
Africa  but  is  silent  about  human  rights  violations  in  Djibouti 
and  in  neighboring  Ethiopia  and  Somalia. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  dominant  status  of  the  Issa  in  the  party,  the  civil 
service,  and  the  military  is  maintained  by  de  facto 
discrimination  based  on  tribe  and  language  against  the  Afar, 
and  discrimination  based  on  tribe  against  the  Isaak  and 
Gadaboursi . 

Women  in  Djibouti  legally  possess  full  civil  rights  but  are 
traditionally  secondary  to  men  in  public  life,  and  generally 
live  within  the  constraints  of  Shari'a  law.   Women  are  active 
in  small  trade;  and  many  women  are  employed  in  offices  and 
stores,  mostly  as  clerks  and  secretaries.   There  are  women, 
though  only  a  few,  in  the  professions  (the  judiciary, 
medicine,  teaching)  and  in  the  military  and  the  police. 

According  to  medical  personnel,  violence  against  women — 
including  rape  and  wife  beating — appears  to  occur  relatively 
infrequently  in  Djibouti.   Moreover,  most  domestic  and 
community  violence  is  considered  a  family  or  tribal  matter,  is 
dealt  with  accordingly,  and  is  rarely  brought  to  the  attention 
of  authorities.   The  police  and  courts  are  almost  never 
involved.  As  a  result,  it  has  not  become  a  public  or 
government  issue,  but  the  party-affiliated  Djiboutian  National 
Women's  Union  (DNWU)  in  November  1988  began  a  government- 
supported  campaign  against  female  circumcision.   Progress  in 
the  campaign  has  been  slow,  however,  particularly  in  the 
northern  districts,  where  nomadic  traditions  of  genital 
mutilation  of  young  girls  (e.g.,  clitoral  excision  and 
inf ibulation)  are  widely  practiced. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

Labor  unions  play  a  minimal  role  in  Djibouti.   Workers  are 
free  to  join  or  not  to  join  unions  as  they  choose.   There  are 
30  individual  labor  unions  in  Djibouti,  many  of  which 
represent  employees  of  only  one  private  or  state-owned 
corporation.   Only  a  small  percentage  of  Djiboutian  workers 
are  union  members.   The  Government  exerts  control  over 
individual  unions  through  Djibouti's  sole  government-organized 
labor  central,  the  General  Union  of  Djiboutian  Workers 
(UGTD) .   Key  labor  positions  in  the  UGTD  are  held  by  persons 
sympathetic  to  management. 

Workers  are  free  to  strike,  but  in  practice  most  labor  action 
is  limited  to  short,  wildcat  protests. 

The  UGTD  is  affiliated  with  Africa's  continent-wide  official 
trade  union  body,  the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union 
Unity.   Unions  are  free  to  maintain  relations  and  exchange 
programs  with  unions  and  labor  organizations  in  other 
countries.   A  representative  of  the  American  Federation  of 
Labor  and  Congress  of  Industrial  Organizations ' s 


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DJIBOUTI 

African-American  Labor  Center  led  a  seminar  in  Djibouti  on 
union  administration  in  February. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

The  law  recognizes  labor's  right  to  organize  and  bargain 
collectively.   In  practice,  formal  collective  bargaining 
virtually  does  not  exist;  relations  between  workers  and 
employers  are  informal  and  paternalistic.   On  questions  of 
wages  and  health  and  safety  conditions,  the  Ministry  of  Labor 
encourages  direct,  ad  hoc  resolution  by  labor  representatives 
and  employers.   Either  workers  or  employers  may  initiate  a 
formal  administrative  hearing  at  which  the  Labor  Inspection 
Service  of  the  Ministry  of  Labor  mediates.   Wages  are  set  by 
employers  in  consultation  with  the  Ministry  of  Labor  to  assure 
adherence  to  mandatory  minimum  wage  regulations. 

There  are  no  export  processing  zones. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Prohibited  by  law,  there  is  neither  forced  nor  compulsory 
labor  in  Djibouti. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  legal  minimum  age  of  14  years  for  employment  is  respected 
in  practice.   Children  may  and  do  work  in  family-owned 
businesses  such  as  restaurants  and  small  shops,  including  at 
night.   Children  are  not  employed  under  hazardous  conditions. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Minimum  wage  rates  are  specified  by  government  regulations  and 
by  categories  of  workers  and  are  enforced  by  the  Ministry  of 
Labor.   Increased  last  in  1976,  minimum  wages  begin  at  less 
than  $80  a  month  for  unskilled  laborers  and  reach  nearly 
$1,400  a  month  for  "directors"  and  medical  doctors.   The 
minimum  wage  in  most  cases  does  not  provide  a  decent  living 
for  a  worker  and  his  family.   However,  many  workers  also 
receive  housing  or  housing  allowances  and  transportation  and 
food  allowances.   Mandatory  seniority  bonuses  range  from  4 
percent  of  the  worker's  basic  salary  after  2  years  of  service 
to  a  maximum  52  percent  after  26  years  of  service. 

The  legislated  maximum  workweek  is  40  hours,  often  spread  over 
a  6-day  workweek.   Overtime  pay  regulations  apply  to 
additional  work.   Workers  are  guaranteed  daily  and  weekly  rest 
periods  and  paid  annual  vacations.   The  Ministry  of  Labor 
enforces  occupational  health  and  safety,  work  hours,  and  wages 
regulations  through  inspection,  dispute  mediation,  and 
administrative  judgment  by  the  labor  inspection  service. 
These  regulations  are  vigorously  enforced. 


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EQUATORIAL  GUINEA 

The  present  leadership  of  Equatorial  Guinea  took  power  in 
1979,  establishing  a  military  Government  after  overthrowing 
the  tyrannical  dictatorship  of  Francisco  Macias  Nguema,  which 
had  caused  the  murder  or  exile  of  one-third  of  the  country's 
population.   In  1982  the  national  Constitution  was  adopted, 
national  and  local  assemblies  were  chosen,  and  the  Government 
was  officially  declared  to  be  civilian.   The  Government  has 
been  headed  since  the  coup  by  President  Obiang  Nguema  Mbasogo, 
who  was  reelected  (as  the  sole  candidate)  in  August  1989  for  a 
7-year  term.   Obiang  established  in  1986  the  country's  sole 
legal  political  party,  the  Democratic  Party  of  Equatorial 
Guinea  (DPEG) .   The  party,  made  up  mostly  of  Fang  tribe 
members  from  Rio  Muni,  the  continental  province  of  the 
country,  controls  the  Government  without  viable  opposition. 

Police  and  internal  security  forces  are  responsible  for  the 
preservation  of  public  order.   They  are  augmented  by  the  300- 
to  500-man  presidential  guard  unit  provided  by  Morocco.   The 
majority  of  human  rights  abuses  has  historically  been  caused 
by  the  civilian  police  and  internal  security  forces. 

Equatorial  Guinea  is  one  of  the  poorest  nations  in  the  world. 
Most  of  the  population  (an  estimated  350,000,  a  figure 
rejected  by  the  Government  of  Equatorial  Guinea  as  too  low) 
live  by  subsistence  agriculture,  fishing,  and  hunting,  with 
per  capita  annual  income  approximately  $300.   The  small  wage 
economy,  based  on  cocoa,  lumber,  and  coffee,  was  devastated  by 
the  death  or  exodus  of  thousands  of  trained  and  educated 
citizens  during  the  Macias  years.   Recent  years  have  seen  the 
emergence  of  a  very  small  middle  class.   The  country's  recent 
inclusion  in  the  West  Africa  franc  currency  zone  has  helped 
create  greater  fiscal  integrity  and  an  improved  investment 
climate.   Foreign  aid  is  crucial  to  development,  and 
Equatorial  Guinea  receives  substantial  assistance,  with  Spain, 
the  previous  colonial  power,  and  France  as  the  key  donors.   In 
1989  France,  Spain,  and  the  Soviet  Union  announced  that  they 
would  forgive  portions  of  the  country's  debts. 

Despite  modest  progress  in  the  economic  sphere  and  in  human 
rights,  political  rights  of  all  kinds,  including  speech  and 
assembly,  continued  to  be  tightly  restricted  in  Equatorial 
Guinea  in  1989.   Police  brutality  remained  a  significant 
problem,  although  reports  of  harsh  treatment  of  illegal 
foreign  workers  declined.   On  occasion  the  President 
intervened  personally  to  resolve  cases  involving  human  rights, 
most  recently  in  October  when  senior  police  officers  were 
convicted  of  using  excessive  force  against  detainees, 
including  a  World  Bank  contractor.   The  Government  sought 
advice  and  technical  assistance  from  Western  countries  on 
improving  the  prisons. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 
No  such  killings  were  reported  in  1989. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  known  disappearances  in  1989. 


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EQUATORIAL  GUINEA 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

In  its  public  statements,  the  Government  appeared  to  make  a 
serious  commitment  to  reduce  the  use  of  torture  and  other 
cruel  treatment  in  1989.   However,  harsh  and  abusive  police 
interrogation  and  punishment  methods  continued  in  1989, 
notably  in  two  well-documented  cases  of  abuse.   In  February 
several  Equatoguineans  who  had  broken  into  an  expatriate's 
home  were  arrested  and  tortured  by  police  for  several  days. 
When  they  gave  the  police  the  names  of  their  accomplices,  the 
latter  were  subsequently  tortured  also.   The  methods  of 
physical  torture  used  against  these  men  included  beatings, 
electric  shock,  and  binding  of  limbs. 

In  a  second  case  in  September,  a  British  subject  on  contract 
with  the  World  Bank  accompanied  several  Equatoguinean  friends 
to  the  police  station  when  the  latter  were  taken  in  for 
disorderly  conduct.   When  he  protested  to  the  police  about  the 
four  female  companions  being  tied  up  and  bludgeoned  on  the 
feet,  the  police  commissioner  had  him  tied  up  and  severely 
beaten  in  the  same  manner.    When  the  international  community 
registered  strong  complaints,  the  Presidency  apologized  for 
the  incident.   In  mid-October,  after  a  public  trial,  the 
police  officers  responsible  were  convicted  and  sentenced  to 
several  months  in  prison  to  be  followed  by  assignment  to  lower 
ranking  positions.   However,  at  the  end  of  the  year,  one  of 
the  officers  was  not  in  prison  but  rather  under  house  arrest. 
It  was  unclear  whether  the  sentence  had  been  carried  out 
against  the  other  officer. 

In  contrast  to  the  past,  there  were  few  reports  in  1989  of 
arbitrary  police  beatings  of  illegal  Nigerian,  Cameroonian,  or 
Ghanaian  workers. 

Prison  conditions  continue  to  be  extremely  harsh,  with  basic 
amenities  unavailable.   In  1989  the  Government  expressed  an 
interest  in  improving  jail  conditions  and  in  arranging 
training  for  police  personnel,  and  expressed  willingness  to 
invite  international  organizations  to  inspect  prison 
conditions . 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Despite  constitutional  provisions,  there  was  little 
enforcement  of  the  rights  of  a  person  in  detention  to  be 
charged  or  released  within  a  certain  period  of  time,  to  have 
access  to  a  lawyer,  or  to  be  released  on  bail.   Arbitrary 
arrests  by  security  forces  or  police  have  been  commonplace, 
often  on  spurious  charges  in  order  to  extort  money.   Many 
detainees  are  held  incommunicado. 

The  number  of  political  detainees  held  at  the  end  of  1989  was 
not  known. 

In  1989  there  were  no  known  cases  of  persons  being  exiled  for 
political  reasons.   There  are  a  number  of  political  exiles  in 
Spain.   In  1988  Jose  Luis  Jones  Dougan,  the  leader  of  an 
opposition  party  in  exile,  returned  and  was  arrested  2  months 
later.   He  was  subsequently  sentenced  to  a  long  prison  term 
but  apparently  in  December  1988  was  released  and  permitted  to 
return  to  Spain.   According  to  Amnesty  International's  1989 
Report,  Dougan's  efforts  to  gain  recognition  for  his  political 
party  were  apparently  considered  to  constitute  a  form  of 
treason.   Another  returned  exile,  Jose  Primo  Esono  Mica,  was 


106 


EQUATORIAL  GUINEA 

arrested  and  convicted  with  Dougan  in  1988.   Esono  Mica's 
30-year  sentence  was  subsequently  reduced  to  15  years. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

There  is  a  formal  court  structure,  with  the  Supreme  Court  at 
the  apex,  and  also  military  and  customary  (tribal)  court 
systems.   Tribal  laws  and  customs  are  honored  in  the  formal 
court  system  when  not  in  conflict  with  national  law.   The 
tribunal  provided  for  in  the  Constitution  to  decide 
constitutional  issues  has  never  been  established.   Under  the 
Constitution,  military  tribunals  hear  all  capital  cases 
(civilian  and  military).   The  death  penalty  has  not  been 
carried  out  for  several  years.   There  is  no  separation  between 
the  executive  and  the  judiciary,  and  Supreme  Court  justices 
serve  at  the  pleasure  of  the  President. 

There  was  no  progress  in  1989  in  efforts  to  reform  the  legal 
system.   The  nation's  mixture  of  traditional  (tribal)  law, 
military  law,  and  Spanish  rules  and  procedures  combine  to 
produce  an  inconsistent  system  of  justice.   There  is  no 
concept  of  due  process,  and  appellate  proceedings  are 
nonexistent;  the  executive  branch  acts  with  little  respect  or 
understanding  for  judicial  independence.   Laws  are  frequently 
enacted  by  decree  without  any  public  announcement,  excepting 
an  occasional  brief  mention  on  government  radio.   Defendants 
who  are  unable  to  afford  legal  counsel  stand  little  chance  of 
acquittal.   The  fact  that  few  lawyers  (approximately  20)  in 
the  country  depend  on  their  connections  to  the  Government 
raises  questions  about  the  impartiality  of  the  defense  their 
clients  might  receive.   Unless  represented  by  counsel,  those 
arrested  in  Equatorial  Guinea  usually  have  no  way  of  knowing 
if  the  offense  they  have  been  charged  with  is  bona  fide. 

The  Government  in  1989  continued  to  maintain  that  it  holds  no 
political  prisoners.   However,  several  persons,  including 
Esono  Mica,  remained  in  prison  at  the  end  of  1989. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

There  were  fewer  reports  in  1989  of  arbitrary  interference 
with  privacy,  including  pressures  by  authorities  to  join  the 
sole  political  party  and  to  participate  in  "spontaneous" 
government-sanctioned  celebrations.   Persons  deemed  suspicious 
are  sometimes  placed  under  surveillance,  and  there  is  a 
general  belief  that  telephone  conversations  are  monitored 
routinely,  although  correspondence  remained  sacrosanct. 
Search  warrants  are  not  normally  used,  even  though  they  are 
required  by  the  Constitution. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Open  public  criticism  of  the  Government  is  not  tolerated.   In 
the  past,  the  press  has  consisted  of  sporadic  government 
bulletins.   In  late  1989,  the  first  regular  printing  of  a 
newspaper  was  started,  initiated  by  the  Spanish  Government. 
While  criticism  of  the  Government  did  not  appear  in  the  paper, 
it  highlighted  the  need  for  a  more  open  forum,  one  less 
focused  on  government  statements. 

Both  the  television  and  radio  stations  are  government 
entities,  whose  broadcasting  is  almost  solely  government 


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EQUATORIAL  GUINEA 

propaganda.   Nevertheless,  entertainment  programming, 
including  relatively  recent  movies  and  American  television 
shows  dubbed  in  Spanish,  appeared  in  1989.   There  was 
discussion  early  in  the  year  of  the  Government  establishing  a 
film  censorship  board  to  reduce  the  number  of  violent  movies 
from  the  West  being  shown.   Radio  propaganda  was  somewhat 
reduced  in  1989  to  accommodate  African  and  American  pop 
music.   The  Government  strictly  controls  the  publication, 
importation,  and  distribution  of  articles  critical  of  the 
Government . 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Despite  constitutional  provisions  guaranteeing  these  freedoms, 
the  Government's  firm  position  is  that  opposition  political 
organizations  and  assemblies  will  not  be  tolerated.   Private 
nonpolitical  groups,  such  as  professional  organizations, 
churches,  and  sports  groups  require  government  approval. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

With  one  exception,  freedom  of  religion  was  generally 
respected.   Jehovah's  Witnesses,  originally  banned  from  the 
country  in  1985,  and  harassed  in  1986  and  1987,  are  still 
prohibited.   Foreign  clergy  and  missionaries  continue  to  play 
an  active  role  in  educational  development,  and  all 
denominations  are  allowed  to  participate  in  charitable  as  well 
as  religious  activities.   Christianity,  mainly  Catholicism,  is 
the  predominant  religion.   In  general,  active  proselytizing  by 
Protestant  denominations  is  discouraged,  but  conversions  are 
permitted. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

There  were  no  explicit  restrictions  on  travel  within  the 
country.   There  are  restrictions  on  travel  abroad,  including 
lengthy  delays  in  obtaining  passports.   Many  Equatoguineans 
leave  the  country  without  formal  documentation  for  both 
economic  and  political  reasons.   A  large  number  reside  in 
Spain,  France,  Cameroon,  and  Gabon,   While  third-country 
African  workers  sometimes  must  resort  to  bribery  to  obtain 
legal  registration,  even  the  formerly  enslaved  Nigerians 
enjoyed  virtual  freedom  to  work  and  travel  in  1989.   With 
regard  to  repatriation.  President  Obiang  in  1989  told  the 
Equatoguinean  expatriate  community,  many  of  whom  had  voiced 
fear  of  repression,  that  they  were  welcome  to  return  to  the 
country  without  any  restrictions.   Few  returned  in  1989  since 
they  enjoy  a  higher  standard  of  living  abroad  than  they  would 
in  Equatorial  Guinea.   Also,  the  treatment  of  several 
political  exiles  in  1988  underscored  the  Government's 
determination  to  prevent  any  political  role  for  persons  with 
views  in  opposition  to  the  Government's  (see  Section  l.d.). 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  people  of  Equatorial  Guinea  do  not  have  the  right  to 
change  their  government  by  democratic  means.   President  Obiang 
was  reelected  President  in  1989  as  the  sole  legal  candidate. 
Cristino  Seriche  Bioko,  a  Bubi ,  has  held  the  office  of  Prime 
Minister  since  1982.   Following  the  recent  presidential 
elections,  Seriche  was  given  the  responsibility  for 
coordinating  the  administration  of  about  half  the  government 
ministries.   Only  members  of  the  DPEG  may  hold  public  office. 


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KOUATORIAL  GUINEA 

and  the  party  controls  the  selection  of  all  candidates.   It  is 
uncertain  whether  all  adults  must  pay  party  dues;  in  1989  it 
appeared  that  only  government  employees  and  employees  of  large 
business  establishments,  i.e.,  those  in  the  wage  economy,  must 
do  so . 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

In  1989  the  Government  showed  greater  willingness  to  interact 
with  international  human  rights  organizations.   The  Government 
publicly  expressed  the  need  to  end  human  rights  abuses.   As 
far  as  is  known,  the  Government,  after  permitting  an  Amnesty 
International  (AI)  mission  to  visit  in  1988,  did  not  respond 
to  AI's  memorandum  of  November  1988  concerning  unfair  military 
trials . 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Although  the  law  calls  for  equal  treatment  for  all,  tribal 
groups  are  not  always  granted  the  same  rights  and  privileges. 
The  Fang  clans,  of  which  President  Obiang  is  a  member, 
dominate  all  aspects  of  government,  the  military,  and  social 
life.   Discrimination  against  the  Bubi,  Fernandino,  and 
Playero  clans  is  consistent,  whether  in  the  granting  of 
political  office  or  the  approval  of  academic  scholarships. 

Women  are  confined  largely  to  traditional  roles,  especially  in 
agriculture.   A  large  majority  of  the  population  is 
polygynous,  and  this  has  also  contributed  to  the  secondary 
status  in  society  given  to  women.   Educational  opportunities 
are  extremely  limited  for  women.   According  to  doctors  in 
hospitals,  violence  against  women  is  not  widespread,  and  abuse 
of  children  is  equally  rare.   The  Government  has  not  addressed 
violence  as  an  issue;  it  looks  to  the  Ministry  for  the 
Promotion  of  Women  to  advance  the  interests  of  women  in 
Equatoguinean  society.   According  to  the  medical  community, 
female  circumcision  is  not  practiced  in  Equatorial  Guinea. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.  The  Right  of  Association 

Equatoguineans  do  not  have  the  right  of  free  association.   In 
the  small  wage  economy,  no  labor  organizations  exist,  although 
there  are  a  few  cooperatives  with  limited  power.   Strikes  are 
prohibited  by  law.   Equatorial  Guinea  has  been  a  member  of  the 
International  Labor  Organization  since  1981  but  has  ratified 
neither  Convention  87  on  Freedom  of  Association  nor  Convention 
98  on  the  Right  to  Organize  and  Collective  Bargaining. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Equatorial  Guinea  has  no  legislation  regarding  these  rights, 
and  there  is  no  evidence  of  collective  bargaining  by  any 
group.   There  are  no  export  processing  or  free  trade  zones. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Forced  labor  and  slavery  are  prohibited  by  law.  During  1989 
no  cases  of  forced  or  compulsory  labor  were  reported.  While 
work  roundups  used  to  be  routinely  organized  against  third- 


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EQUATORIAL  GUINEA 

country  Africans,  forced  labor  of  this  type  was  restricted  in 
1989. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  legal  minimum  age  for  employment  is  16,  but  there  is  no 
enforcement  of  this  law.   As  in  most  of  Africa,  children  at  a 
much  earlier  age  assist  families  with  traditional  agricultural 
production  and  sales. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

There  is  only  a  small  industrial  sector  in  the  country.   Most 
salaried  employment  is  provided  by  the  Government, 
construction  companies,  businesses  providing  retail  goods  and 
services,  and  the  plantation  agricultural  sector.   In  1989 
Equatorial  Guinea  had  a  statutory  minimum  wage  of 
approximately  $35  per  month,  which  was  not  adequate  to  provide 
a  decent  living  for  a  worker  and  family.   The  average  monthly 
wage  was  about  $70  for  the  small  percentage  of  the  population 
that  had  regular  salaried  employment,  most  of  whom  were 
required  to  supplement  this  income  with  other  income  or 
farming  in  order  to  provide  a  decent  living  for  themselves  and 
their  families.   By  law,  working  conditions  included  a  maximum 
48  hours  workweek  with  a  full  day  of  rest  each  week  plus 
regularly  scheduled  national  holidays.   Occupational  health 
and  safety  standards  do  not  exist.   There  was  no  effective 
monitoring  of  work  hours  or  labor  conditions  outside  the 
Government . 


no 


ETHIOPIA 


The  People's  Democratic  Republic  of  Ethiopia  is  a 
self-proclaimed  Marxist  state  headed  by  President  Mengistu 
Hai le-Mariam,  who  came  to  power  in  1977  following  political 
infighting  for  leadership  of  the  1974  revolution  which 
unseated  Emperor  Haile  Selassie.   A  new  Constitution  in  1987 
created  new  organs  of  government:   a  Council  of  State,  a 
Council  of  Ministers,  and  a  Parliament  (the  Shengo) .   The  most 
powerful  institution  in  the  country,  however,  is  the 
Marxist-Leninist  Workers'  Party  of  Ethiopia  (WPE) .   Despite 
the  trappings  of  representative  government,  power  remains  in 
the  hands  of  President  Mengistu,  who  is  Chief  of  State, 
General  Secretary  of  the  WPE,  and  Commander-in-Chief  of  the 
Armed  Forces.   Ethiopia  is  in  a  state  of  civil  war,  with  the 
regime  seriously  challenged  by  armed,  active  insurgencies 
which  during  1989  moved  beyond  regional  borders. 

Ethiopia's  armed  forces  are  the  largest  in  sub-Saharan  Africa, 
numbering  between  250,000  and  275,000.   Cuban  troops  withdrew 
in  September  after  a  12-year  presence.   An  extensive  security 
apparatus  under  the  Ministry  of  Internal  Affairs  attempts  to 
control  the  population  through  a  combination  of  surveillance 
and  informers.   The  Government  justifies  these  security 
measures  and  the  size  of  its  defense  expenditures  (estimated 
at  60  percent  of  the  government  budget)  on  the  basis  of 
external  threats  and  internal  insurrections.   Military 
setbacks  in  1988  and  1989  compelled  the  Government  to  seek 
diplomatic  rapprochement  with  its  neighbors  and  to  try  to 
negotiate  settlements  with  some  internal  opponents,  most 
notably  with  the  Eritrean  People's  Liberation  Front  (EPLF) , 
through  the  good  offices  of  former  U.S.  President  Carter,  and 
with  the  Tigray  People's  Liberation  Front  (TPLF) ,  under 
Italian  auspices. 

The  Ethiopian  economy  is  based  on  agriculture,  which 
contributes  45  percent  to  the  gross  national  product  and  more 
than  80  percent  of  exports  and  employs  85  percent  of  the 
population.   Although  the  Government  promotes  the  formation  of 
collectives  and  cooperatives,  peasant  farms  still  account  for 
about  93  percent  of  crop  production,  state  farms  for  about  6 
percent,  and  producers'  cooperatives  1  percent.   The  major 
agricultural  export  crop  is  coffee,  providing  65  to  75  percent 
of  foreign  exchange  earnings.   In  1988  the  controversial 
forced  "resettlement"  program  of  moving  people  vast  distances 
to  unpopulated  areas  was  suspended  for  lack  of  funds,  but  the 
mandatory  "villagization"  program  to  move  families  into 
villages  in  the  same  area  continued  in  1989,  with  no  reports 
of  accompanying  violence.   Periodic  drought  and  famine,  the 
Government's  war  effort,  and  Socialist  economic  policies  have 
made  Ethiopia  the  world's  poorest  country,  according  to  the 
World  Bank. 

In  1989  the  overall  human  rights  situation  in  Ethiopia 
remained  generally  deplorable.   Major  concerns  included: 
widespread  abuses  such  as  summary  executions  by  all  parties  to 
Ethiopia's  civil  strife;  the  use  of  torture  as  an  accepted 
practice  in  interrogation;  arbitrary,  incommunicado 
detentions;  the  lack  of  fair  public  trials;  serious 
restrictions  on  freedom  of  speech  and  press,  assembly  and 
association,  and  the  right  of  citizens  to  change  their 
government;  and  limitations  on  women's  and  worker  rights.   In 
May  there  was  a  coup  attempt  by  the  military  leaders  in  which 
atrocities  were  committed  on  both  sides.   However,  in 
September  the  Government  announced  the  release  of  remaining 


Ill 


ETHIOPIA 

members  of  the  royal  family  and  84  other  political  prisoners. 
The  Government  has  shown  new  tolerance  of  religious 
organizations  and  activities,  including  unacknowledged 
emigration  of  Ethiopian  Jews  as  part  of  improved  relations 
with  Israel.   While  emigration  remains  restricted,  the 
Government  issued  passports  in  unprecedented  numbers.   It 
allowed  relief  groups  relative  freedom  in  pursuing 
humanitarian  concerns.      i 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

The  May  coup  attempt  resulted  directly  from  military 
disenchantment  with  the  regime  and  followed  the  loss  of  the 
Tigray  region  to  insurgents  in  February.   The  attempted  coup 
resulted  in  the  executions  of  an  unknown  number  of 
generals — one  estimate  stated  38  senior  officers  were 
executed — and  other  senior  military  officials  and  in  the 
imprisonment  of  nearly  200  others.   Atrocities  occurred  on 
both  sides,  with  coup  plotters  murdering  the  Minister  of 
Defense,  and  loyalists  killing  rebellious  generals.   In 
December  the  trial  of  the  14  most  senior  officers  arrested  in 
the  aftermath  of  the  coup  attempt  began. 

As  a  consequence  of  military  setbacks  in  Tigray,  the 
Government  resorted  to  the  forced  conscription  of  youths  in 
their  early  teens  in  April  and  May,  which  fed  public 
discontent  at  the  time  of  the  coup.   After  new  military 
reverses  in  the  autumn,  the  Government  launched  a  particularly 
brutal  conscription  campaign  in  November.   Some  youths  who 
resisted  conscription  were  shot.   Reports  also  surfaced  in 
1989  that  guards  used  lethal  force  against  children 
demonstrating  at  a  government-run  orphanage  in  November  1988, 
resulting  in  four  deaths.   The  guards  responsible  for  the 
deaths  were  arrested  and  charged.   The  results  of  this  case 
remain  unknown. 

Security  forces  used  excessive  force  following  the  coup 
attempt  to  quash  student  demonstrations,  reportedly  killing 
two  students  (see  Section  2.b.). 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  during  1989  of  politically  motivated 
disappearance. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  1987  Constitution  notably  omits  a  passage  from  the  1955 
constitution  prohibiting  cruel  and  inhuman  punishment. 
Torture  has  been  used  against  members  of  most  opposition 
groups,  including  the  EPLF,  the  TPLF,  and  the  Oromo  Liberation 
Front  (OLF) . 

Political  prisoners  are  initially  taken  to  central 
investigation  centers  operated  by  the  Ministry  of  Internal 
Affairs,  such  as  the  central  prison  and  the  notorious  "Third 
Police  Station"  in  Addis  Ababa  or  the  Mariam  Gimki  Center  in 
Asmara.   Interrogation  is  often  combined  with  physical  abuse, 
especially  for  those  suspected  of  affiliation  with  an 
opposition  or  insurgent  group.   Common  methods  of  torture 
include  beating  on  the  soles  of  the  feet,  suspension  from  a 


112 


ETHIOPIA 

rope  in  a  contorted  position,  death  threats,  mock  executions, 
sleep  deprivation,  and  submergence  to  the  point  of 
unconsciousness  in  tanks  of  water. 

Following  the  May  coup  attempt,  Addis  Ababa's  political 
detention  centers  were  reportedly  the  sites  of  torture,  as  was 
the  basement  of  the  Menelik  (or  Grand)  Palace.   Ethiopian 
television  showed  film  footage  of  the  mutilated  body  of  one  of 
the  coup  plotters.   Additionally,  both  sides  desecrated  the 
corpses  of  generals  involved  in  the  attempt.   Coup 
sympathizers  reportedly  ezhumed  the  body  of  the  murdered 
Minister  of  Defense,  dismembered  it,  and  left  the  remains  in  a 
ditch.   On  the  other  side,  loyalists  in  northern  Ethiopia 
beheaded  the  corpse  of  General  Demissie  Bulto  (a  coup 
sympathizer  and  former  commander  of  the  Second  Army)  and 
paraded  the  head  through  the  streets  of  Asmara. 

d.   Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

The  1987  Constitution  provides  for  arraignment  in  court  within 
48  hours,  arrest  warrants,  a  fair  trial,  protection  against 
self-incrimination,  and  the  right  to  counsel;  however, 
Ethiopians  suspected  of  antigovernment  actions  or  sentiments 
continue  to  be  subject  to  arrest  or  detention  by  the  police 
without  charge  or  judicial  review.   In  politically  sensitive 
arrests,  the  Government  generally  prefers  to  operate  in 
secret,  taking  the  suspect  from  home  at  night. 

Reports  of  arrests  and  detentions  following  the  May  coup 
attempt  attest  to  the  fact  that  these  practices  continued  in 
1989.   Additionally,  family  members  of  some  alleged  coup 
participants  were  arrested  in  broad  daylight  in  a  surprise 
move  by  authorities  reacting  to  public  rumors  that  arrests 
would  only  happen  at  night.   Treatment  of  officers  arrested  in 
the  coup  attempt  reportedly  improved  substantially  by  the  end 
of  1989. 

On  September  2,  the  Government  released  87  prominent  political 
prisoners,  some  of  whom  had  "disappeared"  in  previous  years. 
These  prisoners  were  part  of  a  larger  amnesty  on  the  eve  of 
the  Ethiopian  New  Year.   In  addition  to  the  release  of  three 
grandsons  of  former  Emperor  Haile  Selassie,  the  release 
included  former  Ambassador  to  Canada  and  Permanent  U.N. 
Representative  Berhanu  Dinka,  who  "disappeared"  in  1986,  and 
long-missing  members  of  political  movements  who  fell  out  of 
favor  with  the  Government  during  the  turbulent  late  1970's. 

In  the  wake  of  the  amnesty,  Ethiopia's  remaining  political 
detainees  are  estimated  at  between  400  and  500.  At  least  17 
members  of  the  EPLF,  TPLF,  OLF,  and  other  groups  are  held  in 
two  prisons  in  the  Addis  Ababa  area.  As  in  the  past,  sketchy 
information,  especially  as  regards  the  situation  in  northern 
Ethiopia,  pre\/ents  accurate  estimates  of  the  total  number  of 
opposition  group  members  remaining  in  prison. 

A  state  of  emergency  declared  in  1988  remains  in  effect  in 
Eritrea  and  Tigray.   Under  it,  security  forces  are  empowered 
to  stop,  detain,  and  hold  indefinitely  without  court  or 
prosecutor's  warrant,  any  person  who  has  violated  or  is 
suspected  of  having  violated  the  special  emergency  decree  or 
who  in  any  manner  disturbs  law  and  order  within  the  emergency 
areas . 

An  unspecified  number  of  refugees  from  the  Somali  camps  at 
Aware  in  eastern  Ethiopia  were  arrested  for  selling  food 


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ETHIOPIA 

ration  coupons.   At  year's  end,  they  were  being  held  without 
trial  by  local  Ethiopian  authorities. 

In  Eritrea,  60  EPLF  members  took  advantage  of  a  government 
amnesty  offer  and  surrendered  for  reeducation  and 
reintegration  into  society.   Voluntary  repatriation,  however, 
has  not  greatly  reduced  the  number  of  Ethiopians  who  remain  in 
exile,  unable  to  return  to  Ethiopia  for  fear  of  persecution. 
As  many  as  1  million  Ethiopians  are  believed  to  have  taken  up 
refuge  in  neighboring  countries. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Ethiopia's  judicial  system  remains  bifurcated  in  practice  if 
not  in  theory.   While  nonpolitical  civil  and  criminal 
offenders  are  usually  granted  fair  public  trial,  military  and 
political  cases  are  subject  to  official  manipulation  and 
executive  meddling.   The  definition  of  what  constitutes  a 
"political"  case  is  sometimes  farfetched  and  usually  relates 
to  the  Government's  preoccupation  with  internal  security. 

The  Supreme  Court  is  at  the  apex  of  the  judicial  system. 
Other  judicial  bodies  include  a  newly  announced  Supreme  Court 
Council,  a  Worker's  Control  Committee,  and  military  courts  in 
contested  areas.   Kebeles  (urban  neighborhood  organizations 
controlled  by  the  WPE)  have  since  the  1974  revolution  been  the 
primary  local  units  of  judicial  decisionmaking  and  law 
enforcement.   Their  work  has  been  marked  by  arbitrariness  and 
a  failure  to  follow  procedures  that  would  ensure  the  right  to 
a  fair  trial  supposedly  guaranteed  by  the  1987  Constitution. 

When  the  Ministry  of  Internal  Affairs  allows  political  trials 
to  take  place,  they  are  almost  always  held  in  secret,  with 
only  the  verdict  (if  even  that)  publicly  announced.   Even 
prisoners  cleared  of  charges  or  whose  terms  have  been 
completed  may  not  be  promptly  released  from  prison.   Some  of 
the  most  senior  officers  detained  after  the  coup  attempt  were 
arraigned  in  December  before  a  military  tribunal  in  public 
session  attended  by  local  and  foreign  journalists.   While  this 
does  not  by  itself  guarantee  a  fair  trial,  it  is  at  least  less 
arbitrary  than  prior  practices. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  1987  Constitution  provides  for  the  "inviolability  of  the 
house"  and  protects  against  unlawful  entry  into  private 
homes.   In  practice,  warrants  are  not  used  for  searches  of 
offices  or  private  homes.   In  Eritrea  and  other  war-torn  areas 
the  state  of  emergency  affords  the  armed  forces  great  latitude 
in  searching  or  even  confiscating  suspected  premises. 

In  the  aftermath  of  the  attempted  coup  in  May,  some  families 
of  suspected  coup  plotters  were  subjected  to  searches  of  their 
homes  and  seizure  of  their  property,  even  though  the  targeted 
suspect  may  have  already  been  in  custody. 

Surveillance  of  persons,  both  visual  and  electronic,  is  not 
subject  to  legal  restraints.   All  mail  is  subject  to 
government  monitoring.   Ethiopian  citizens  can  be  called  in  at 
any  time  for  questioning  by  authorities  and  for  mandatory 
kebele  meetings,  political  rallies,  or  marches.   Refusal  to 
appear  for  any  of  the  events  may  result  in  imprisonment 
without  hearing. 


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ETHIOPIA 

Local  kebele  association  officials  monitor  urban  Ethiopians, 
whereas  peasant  association  leaders  perform  the  same  function 
in  the  countryside.   These  officials  monitor  visitors,  items 
brought  in  and  out  of  houses,  any  meetings,  and  adherence  to 
local  curfews.   The  scope  of  such  surveillance  and  petty 
interference  in  the  private  lives  of  Ethiopian  citizens 
depends  heavily  on  the  makeup  of  the  kebele  and  its  leadership. 

There  are  some  indications  that  kebele  control  has  diminished 
somewhat  over  the  last  year  as  a  result  of  the  general  decline 
in  the  authority  of  the  Government  among  many  Ethiopians.   The 
Government  has  also  taken  some  steps  to  remove  unpopular 
measures  by:   reducing  pressure  to  join  the  WPE;  no  longer 
requiring  party  uniforms  to  be  worn  in  government  offices;  and 
lifting  the  ban  on  Sunday  driving. 

g.   Use  of  Excessive  Force  and  Violations  of  Humanitarian 
Law  in  Internal  Conflicts 

The  major  events  influencing  human  rights  in  Ethiopia  during 
1989  were  fighting  in  the  northern  parts  of  the  country  during 
the  spring  and  fall,  and  the  coup  attempt  against  President 
Mengistu  in  May.   Ethiopia's  civil  war,  now  in  its  28th  year, 
continues  to  dominate  the  decisions  of  a  government  pursuing 
its  self-preservation  at  all  costs.   Both  the  Government  and 
the  various  insurgent  movements  have  practiced  forced 
conscription,  imprisonment  without  recourse,  violence  against 
civilian  populations,  torture,  and  extrajudicial  killing. 
These  abuses  have  taken  place  during  a  civil  war  and  under  a 
declared  state  of  emergency  in  the  northern  part  of  the 
country. 

Major  insurgent  groups  include  the  EPLF,  active  in  Eritrea; 
the  TPLF,  active  in  Gonder,  Shewa,  Tigray,  and  Welo;  the  OLF, 
active  in  southeastern  and  western  Ethiopia;  the  Ethiopian 
People's  Revolutionary  Party  (EPRP) ,  active  in  areas  of  Gonder 
and  Meketel;  and  a  new  umbrella  group  calling  itself  the 
Ethiopian  People's  Revolutionary  Democratic  Front  (EPRDF) , 
comprising  the  TPLF  and  its  ally,  the  Ethiopian  People's 
Democratic  Movement  (EPDM) .   There  are  another  half-dozen 
minor  insurgent  groups. 

Insurgent  forces  made  major  advances  in  1989  with  the  capture 
of  Tigray  and  lightning  thrusts  south  within  70  miles  of  Addis 
Ababa.   According  to  press  reports,  the  rebels  claimed  to  have 
killed,  wounded,  or  captured  an  estimated  30,000  to  40,000 
government  soldiers  and  seized  millions  of  dollars  worth  of 
military  equipment  during  an  autumn  campaign.   Also,  in 
September  the  Air  Force  recommenced  the  terror  bombing  of 
Tigrayan  towns  on  crowded  market  days.   When  government  forces 
bombed  Mekele,  the  capital  of  Tigray,  school  children  were 
among  the  casualties. 

The  poor  showing  of  government  forces  in  1989  could  be  traced 
to  poor  morale,  use  of  forced  conscription,  and  to  the  loss  of 
over  200  military  officers  in  the  May  coup  attempt. 
Eyewitnesses  reported  that  government  security  forces  killed 
and  wounded  teenagers  resisting  conscription.   Ethiopian 
authorities  also  reportedly  tried  to  impress  a  number  of 
Somali  Isaak  refugees  from  refugee  camps  close  to  the  Somali 
border;  however,  the  refugees  were  released  after  they  had 
been  positively  identified  as  Somalis  by  camp  personnel. 
Recent  Ethiopian  returnees  from  Somalia  were  explicitly 
exempted  from  conscription  by  the  Government. 


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During  1989  there  were  credible  reports  that  all  major  parties 
to  Ethiopia's  civil  war  engaged  in  abduction,  imprisonment 
without  trial,  torture,  and  summary  execution  of  internal  and 
external  opponents.   Factional  disputes  within  and  between 
insurgent  groups  were  particularly  violent,  and  included 
assassination  of  leaders.   There  are  credible  reports  that  the 
TPLF  has  forcibly  conscripted  teenagers  and  others  as  porters 
and  support  workers.   In  some  areas  the  EPLF,  the  TPLF,  and 
the  OLF  abducted  local  officials.   There  are  numerous,  albeit 
unconfirmed,  accounts  from  TPLF-controlled  areas  of  closed 
churches,  destroyed  clinics  and  schools,  and  destruction  of 
basic  infrastructure  by  the  insurgents. 

Little  information  is  available  on  the  treatment  of  prisoners 
of  war  (POW's).   One  insurgent  group,  the  TPLF,  as  a  matter  of 
practice  releases  ordinary  soldiers  upon  capture,  after 
disarming  them  and  confiscating  their  footwear.   The  rationale 
for  this  action  by  the  TPLF  appears  both  humane  (as  a 
guerrilla  group  they  cannot  care  for  large  numbers  of  POW's) 
and  tactical,  since  it  encourages  some  GPDRE  units  to 
surrender.   On  December  31,  the  EPLF  announced  plans  to 
release  10,000  POW's  under  its  control. 

Both  the  Government  and  the  insurgents  have  seized  upon  the 
desperate  need  for  food  relief  in  1989/90  as  a  political 
issue.   Deliberately  or  not,  the  Government  has  underestimated 
the  need  for  food  relief  in  some  insurgent-controlled  areas. 
The  EPLF  and  TPLF  initially  insisted  on  complete  control  over 
food  distribution  in  areas  held  by  them.   By  the  end  of  1989, 
however,  there  appeared  to  be  some  flexibility  on  all  sides. 

Relief  organizations  and  volunteer  groups  were  allowed 
relative  freedom  in  pursuing  their  humanitarian  activities  in 
all  areas  controlled  by  the  Government.   The  International 
Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  (ICRC),  however,  has  been  denied 
access  to  Eritrea  following  a  dispute  with  the  Government. 
The  TPLF  and  EPLF  have  allowed  these  relief  groups  only 
limited  access  into  areas  under  their  control.   There  were  no 
reported  attacks  on  relief  workers  during  1989  by  either 
government  or  rebel  forces,  although  Ethiopian  staff  members 
were  killed  in  riots  at  refugee  camps  in  southwestern  Ethiopia. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

There  is  no  freedom  of  speech  or  press  in  Ethiopia.   The 
Government  closely  monitors  the  pronouncements  of  public 
officials,  academicians,  and  clergy.   Some  instructors  and 
professors  in  secondary  schools  and  at  the  university  have 
resisted  the  politicization  of  education.   Academic  freedom, 
although  seriously  circumscribed,  still  finds  limited 
expression  at  the  university. 

The  Government  owns  and  operates  all  information  media  and 
exercises  censorship  through  editorial  boards  and  the  Ministry 
of  Information.   Expression  of  unauthorized  political  opinions 
or  of  views  at  variance  with  the  official  government  line  can 
result  in  imprisonment.   Political,  economic,  and  social 
policies  are  formulated  at  the  top  levels  of  the  government- 
controlled  media  and  government-organized  citizen  groups. 

Books  and  magazines  are  confiscated  if  deemed  to  contain 
sentiments  opposed  to  the  regime.  Foreign  magazines  and 
newspapers  are  not  readily  available  since  foreign  exchange  is 


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ETHIOPIA 

not  granted  to  purchase  them.   Foreign  radio  broadcasts  and 
those  of  opposition  groups  are  widely  listened  to  by 
Ethiopians . 

During  the  search  for  the  late  U.S.  Representative  Mickey 
Leland  and  his  party,  the  local  press  gave  relatively  open, 
accurate,  and  extensive  coverage  of  the  operation,  and  the 
Government  allowed  the  foreign  press  corps  freely  to  enter  the 
country  and  to  file  reports  without  interference. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Notwithstanding  constitutional  provisions,  assembly  of  any 
sort  not  previously  approved  by  the  Government  is  forbidden. 
In  contrast,  attendance  at  government-sponsored  rallies, 
meetings,  and  parades  is  frequently  mandatory  and  enforced  by 
a  wide  range  of  sanctions.   However,  whereas  frequent  or  close 
association  with  foreigners  in  the  past  may  have  resulted  in 
government  harassment  and  occasional  detention,  this  is 
generally  no  longer  the  case.   Trade  and  professional 
associations,  such  as  the  Rotary  and  Lions  Clubs,  are  allowed 
to  operate,  although  their  membership  and  activities  are 
monitored  by  the  Government. 

In  late  May,  students  at  Addis  Ababa  University  attempted 
several  demonstrations  against  the  Government  in  the  wake  of 
the  attempted  coup.   However,  internal  security  forces, 
including  special  commandos,  used  excessive  force  to  beat  back 
the  students  before  actual  demonstrations  began,  reportedly 
killing  2  students  and  arresting  at  least  100.   Similar 
incidents  occurred  at  the  local  commercial  and  technical 
schools.   Additional  reports  indicate  the  police  broke  up  a 
student  demonstration  in  Addis  Ababa's  Revolution  Square  by 
firing  warning  shots  into  the  air.   No  one  was  killed, 
injured,  or  arrested  on  that  occasion. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Ethiopian  nationalism  and  traditional  values,  including 
religion,  are  an  integral  part  of  the  national  culture. 
Government  policy  no  longer  ignores  or  tries  to  suppress 
religion.   In  fact,  religion  is  now  being  factored  into 
aspects  of  national  planning.   This  planning,  though,  extends 
to  the  selection  of  religious  leaders  sympathetic  to  party 
policy.   The  Government  nationalized  most  church  property 
(thought  to  include  as  much  as  30  percent  of  all  land  holdings 
in  Ethiopia  at  the  time)  when  it  took  power  in  1974,  and  the 
Ethiopian  Orthodox  Church  reportedly  is  dependent  on  annual 
government  compensation  payments  to  cover  clerical  salaries. 

The  Government's  new  attitude  toward  religion  has  resulted  in 
increased  respect  for  freedom  of  worship  and  proselytism  for 
the  Ethiopian  Orthodox  Church  and  Islam  as  provided  in  the 
1987  Constitution.   The  Government  continues  to  monitor 
religious  practice  and  any  teaching  which  might  be  contrary  to 
its  political  views. 

Party  members  are  officially  prohibited  from  worshiping,  but 
this  ban  is  not  enforced.   According  to  press  reports,  kebele 
officials  often  discourage  church  attendance,  generally  by 
scheduling  mandatory  meetings  on  Sunday  mornings.   The 
Government  expunges  reference  to  any  deity  from  official 


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ETHIOPIA 

Statements  and  publications,  television  programs,  and  films, 
although  government-controlled  media  still  give  routine 
coverage  to  church  affairs  and  religious  festivals.   Ethiopian 
Orthodox  church  and  Islamic  holidays  are  recognized  by  the 
Government,  and  officials  of  both  religions  are  allowed  to 
exercise  jurisdiction  over  civil  matters  such  as  marriage. 

Foreign  Protestant  evangelical  organizations  have  experienced 
a  general  trend  of  greater  tolerance  from  central  and  local 
government  officials  over  the  last  3  years.   Local  government 
officials  allowed  a  number  of  churches  that  had  been  closed  to 
reopen.   The  September  2  amnesty  included  the  release  of  the 
leaders  of  the  Ethiopian  Evangelical  Mekane  Yesus  Church,  some 
of  whom  were  arrested  over  5  years  ago.   The  Government  issues 
permits  to  foreign  missionaries  to  enter  and  work  in  Ethiopia 
in  limited  numbers,  although  ostensibly  as  development 
specialists,  not  as  missionaries.   The  Jehovah's  Witnesses, 
however,  remain  banned. 

Ethiopia's  small  Jewish  population,  known  as  Beta  Israel  or 
"Falasha"  (a  word  meaning  immigrant  or  outsider),  lives  in 
Gonder  and  Tigray,  areas  often  associated  with  recurring 
insurgent  activity.   There  have  been  no  reports  this  year  of 
atrocities  or  discrimination  toward  Ethiopian  Jewry  at  the 
hands  of  Ethiopian  authorities.   Incidents  of  murder  and 
thievery  reported  in  late  1988  were  attributed  to  long-running 
social  conflicts  in  which  land  disputes  and  criminal  activity 
are  seen  as  motivating  factors;  those  Ethiopian  Jews  who  were 
victims  were  not  attacked  primarily  because  of  their  religious 
beliefs.   The  Government  permits  f oreign-sourced  development 
assistance  directed  at  Jewish  areas,  including  assistance  used 
for  the  construction  of  synagogues.   The  burning  of  a 
synagogue  near  Gonder  city  in  November  resulted  from  a  fight 
between  two  Jewish  communities  over  the  location  of  a  new 
synagogue. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Freedom  of  movement  within  Ethiopia  increased  markedly  during 
1989.   While  insurgent-held  areas  in  Tigray  remain 
inaccessible  to  both  Ethiopians  and  foreigners,  the  Government 
allowed  resumption  of  travel  by  citizens  between  Addis  Ababa 
and  Asmara,  the  capital  of  Eritrea.   The  Government's 
controversial  internal  resettlement  program  remained  suspended 
for  lack  of  funding.   Reports  indicate  that  some  of  those 
previously  resettled  have  been  trickling  back  to  their 
original  home  areas. 

The  Government's  mandatory  villagization  campaign,  which 
collects  scattered  rural  farmers  into  newly  created  villages, 
continued  in  1989.   It  is  sanctioned  under  the  1987 
Constitution,  which  states  that  "the  state  shall  encourage  the 
scattered  rural  population  to  aggregate  in  order  to  change 
their  backward  living  conditions  and  to  enable  them  to  lead  a 
better  life."   The  Government  has  announced  plans  that  call 
for  50  percent  of  the  rural  population  to  be  moved  into 
villages  by  1993.   Unlike  in  prior  years,  there  were  no 
reports  during  1989  of  violence  associated  with  villagization. 

Travel  abroad  by  Ethiopians  was  much  freer  in  1989  than  in 
prior  years,  as  the  Government  began  issuing  passports  in 
unprecedented  numbers.   However,  the  processing  of  passport 
applications  remains  long  and  laborious.   Exit  visas  must  be 
used  within  15  days  of  issue,  and  renewal  can  be  difficult. 


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ETHIOPIA 

Foreigners  wishing  to  travel  within  Ethiopia  must  still  obtain 
travel  permits,  and  access  to  areas  of  conflict  remains 
restricted.   For  diplomats,  however,  the  process  of  obtaining 
permits  to  travel  to  areas  not  in  conflict  has  become  largely 
a  formality.   During  1989,  only  one  permit  request  was  denied 
to  U.S.  Embassy  personnel. 

Emigration  remains  highly  restricted,  though  marriage  to  or 
adoption  by  foreign  nationals  is  allowed.   The  Ethiopian 
Government  responded  sharply  to  the  U.S.  Government's  1989 
immigrant  visa  lottery.   Ethiopian  postal  authorities 
reportedly  destroyed  100,000  applications  mailed  by  those 
wanting  to  participate  in  the  program.   People  coming  to  the 
Embassy  for  applications  were  beaten  back  by  police  at  the 
Embassy's  gates. 

Illegal  emigration  remains  punishable  by  imprisonment  or,  in 
exceptional  cases,  by  death.   Nonetheless,  considerable 
illegal  emigration  occurs  either  under  the  subterfuge  of 
travel  abroad  for  business  or  to  visit  relatives,  or  by 
overland  treks  and  surreptitious  crossing  of  borders. 

The  Government  recognizes  the  right  of  voluntary  repatriation, 
and  its  proclamation  of  amnesty  for  Ethiopians  living  abroad 
(numbering  more  than  1  million)  remains  in  effect.   Most  of 
these  are  in  neighboring  countries,  mainly  in  refugee  camps. 
The  United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  (UNHCR) 
repatriation  programs  have  successfully  repatriated 
approximately  10,000  Ethiopians  from  Djibouti,  Somalia,  and 
Sudan  since  1986.   As  of  1989,  these  official  and  spontaneous 
returnees  came  under  the  purview  of  a  new  tripartite 
commission  composed  of  the  Ethiopian  and  Somali  Governments 
and  the  UNHCR. 

There  are  no  reports  that  returnees  were  mistreated  or 
discriminated  against  upon  their  return.   Ethiopian  refugees 
in  northern  Somalia  also  may  have  returned  to  Ethiopia  in  an 
effort  to  flee  civil  strife  in  that  country. 

Instability  in  neighboring  countries  has  stimulated  a 
large-scale  refugee  movement  into  Ethiopia,  with  almost 
800,000  entering  the  country--over  450,000  from  Sudan  and 
350,000  from  Somalia.   Limited  access  to  refugee  camps  by  the 
international  community  has  made  it  possible  to  monitor  the 
level  of  relief  and  protection  provided,  although  the 
Government  has  denied  UNHCR  permission  to  stay  in  the  camps 
overnight . 

There  have  been  no  reports  that  the  Government  has 
systematically  denied  aid  to  refugees  in  Ethiopia.   Also, 
there  were  no  reports  of  forcible  repatriation.   Violence  at 
Somali  refugee  camps  during  July  and  early  August  was  mostly 
among  refugees  themselves,  although  an  Ethiopian  guard  was 
killed.   Ethiopian  staff  members  were  killed  during  uprisings 
at  Sudanese  refugee  camps  at  Fugnido  and  Itang  during  late 
September,  which  resulted  from  tribal  tension  between  local 
Anuak  people  and  Dinka  and  Nuer  refugees. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  their  Government 

Citizens  of  Ethiopia  are  not  free  to  change  their  government. 
The  1987  Constitution  institutionalizes  all  power  in  the  WPE, 
the  President,  his  advisers,  and  the  23-member  Council  of 


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ETHIOPIA 

State.   Political  and  economic  policies  are  still  dictated  to 
the  populace  with  little  opportunity  for  public  debate. 

The  WPE  and  its  mass  organizations  purport  to  offer  Ethiopian 
citizens  a  means  of  participation  in  government,  but  their 
real  role  is  to  ensure  adherence  to  Marxist-Leninist 
principles.   Official  pressure  on  higher-level  government 
officials  to  join  the  WPE  has  slacked  off  in  recent  years. 
Many  members  of  the  bureaucracy  have  declined  party  membership 
without  an  adverse  effect  on  their  careers.   Kebeles,  the 
primary  party/government  control  mechanisms  at  the  local 
level,  control  housing  allocation,  basic  food  rationing, 
political  indoctrination,  and  implementation  of  other 
government  policies,  such  as  registration  and  selection  of 
youths  for  national  military  service. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  resists  attempts  by  international  and 
nongovernmental  organizations  to  investigate  human  rights 
cases.   It  did  not  respond  to  Amnesty  International's  call  in 
1988  for  an  impartial  investigation  into  reports  of 
extrajudicial  killings  and  lengthy  and  arbitrary  detentions, 
particularly  in  Eritrea  and  Tigray.   Ethiopian  authorities  did 
respond  positively  in  1989  to  an  international  human  rights 
organization's  request  for  a  list  of  the  87  political 
prisoners  covered  by  the  September  2  amnesty.   There  is  no 
governmental  or  private  body  to  investigate  alleged  human 
rights  violations.   Ethiopia  is  not  a  signatory  to  any  of  the 
United  Nations  human  rights  documents  or  the  African  Charter 
of  Human  and  Peoples'  Rights. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  Constitution  provides  for  the  equality  of  all  Ethiopians 
irrespective  of  nationality,  sex,  religion,  occupation,  social 
or  other  status.   The  highest  government  echelons  are  no 
longer  dominated  by  the  Amhara  ethnic  group  but  include  many 
Oromos  and  a  few  Eritreans  and  Tigrayans.   However,  almost  all 
senior  government  and  political  figures  are  of  Christian 
origin,  although  the  population  is  approximately  50  percent 
Muslim. 

American  visitors  to  areas  inhabited  by  Ethiopian  Jews  report 
the  existence  of  some  economic  discrimination.   The  general 
poverty  of  the  Jews  has  been  aggravated  by  the  Government's 
villagization  campaign,  which  is  true  of  other  farmers  forced 
to  relocate  from  their  traditional  farming  areas. 

The  rights  of  women  are  protected  and  women  are  promised 
additional  government  support  by  the  Constitution.   However, 
sex  discrimination  persists  in  Ethiopia's  tradition-bound 
culture.   Various  U.N.  studies  note  cultural  and  traditional 
biases,  marriages  imposed  at  a  very  young  age,  hard  and 
time-consuming  labor,  inadequate  employment  opportunities,  and 
below-average  wages  in  urban  areas. 

village  leadership  is  invariably  male,  and  all  clergy  are 
male.   However,  women  in  the  principal  Ethiopian  cultures 
(Oromo,  Amhara,  Eritrean,  and  Tigray)  enjoy  certain  economic 
rights  equal  to  those  of  men.   They  may  inherit,  sell  or  buy 
property,  and  engage  in  business.   In  some  rural  areas,  women 


24-ann  r\ on 


120 


have  a  subservient  status  within  the  home,  and  child  marriages 
remain  common,  despite  opposition  by  the  Government. 

Cultural  attitudes  about  violence  against  women  have  improved 
since  the  1974  revolution.   While  wife  beating  continues  to  be 
a  problem,  it  is  no  longer  as  common  as  it  once  was.   An 
Ethiopian  woman  does  have  redress  to  police  protection  if  she 
is  subjected  to  beatings  by  her  husband,  but  the  police  are 
sometimes  slow  to  respond.   Women  have  successfully 
adjudicated  many  domestic  violence  cases  in  kebele  courts, 
with  offending  husbands  sometimes  placed  in  kebele  detention 
centers . 

Long  established  practices,  such  as  female  genital  mutilation 
(circumcision),  remain  common  among  Ethiopian  Orthodox 
Christian  and  Muslim  families.   The  Ministry  of  Health, 
religious  organizations,  the  Revolutionary  Women's  Association 
(created  in  1980  with  the  goal  of  improving  the  status  of 
women),  and  nongovernmental  organizations  have  engaged  in  an 
education  and  health  campaign  at  the  village  level  to 
sensitize  the  populace  against  female  circumcision,  early 
marriage,  and  harmful  nutritional  practices.   A  central  tenet 
of  this  campaign  is  that  female  circumcision  is  itself  an  act 
of  violence  against  women. 

Section  6   Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

These  is  no  independent  labor  movement  in  Ethiopia.   The  labor 
force  is  organized  into  two  umbrella  mass  organizations  under 
the  control  of  the  only  legal  political  party.   The  Government 
sees  its  own  interests  and  those  of  working  people  as 
identical  and  considers  a  single  trade  union  structure 
necessary  to  build  a  developed.  Socialist  society.   The  right 
to  strike  is  not  recognized,  and  strikes  are  rare. 

The  Ethiopian  Trade  Union  (ETU)  embraces  industrial  and  urban 
workers  with  a  combined  membership  of  318,000  (1988).   Many  of 
ETU's  top  leaders  have  been  trained  in  Eastern  Europe,  and  as 
an  organization  the  ETU  seeks  to  implement  government  policy, 
expand  control  over  the  workplace,  and  prevent  work 
stoppages.   The  ETU  is  a  member  of  Africa's  continent-wide 
official  trade  union  body,  the  Organization  of  African  Trade 
Union  Unity,  and  is  affiliated  with  the  Communist-controlled 
World  Federation  of  Trade  Unions. 

Rural  workers  are  organized  under  the  Ethiopian  Peasants' 
Association  (EPA),  which  has  5.7  million  members.   The  EPA  is 
an  umbrella  organization  of  some  20,000  smaller  peasants' 
associations,  and  in  addition  to  being  an  implement  of 
government  control,  promotes  literacy  and  advances 
agricultural  techniques.   In  some  areas  the  local  peasants' 
associations  have  tax  collection  and  militia  responsibilities. 

Despite  guarantees  on  the  freedom  of  association  in  the  1987 
Consitution  (Article  47),  farmers  and  workers  are  not 
permitted  to  organize  outside  the  two  recognized  mass 
organizations.   Ethiopia  has  consistently  been  criticized  by 
the  International  Labor  Organization  (ILO)  Governing  Board  for 
failure  to  observe  ILO  Convention  87  on  Freedom  of 
Association,  which  Ethiopia  has  ratified. 

In  1989  the  ILO's  Committee  of  Experts  noted  that  a  draft 
labor  code  is  being  drawn  up  and  expressed  the  hope  that  it 


121 


ETHIOPIA 

would  correct  existing  defects  such  as  the  imposition  of  a 
single  trade  union  system,  the  legal  obligation  of  trade 
unions  and  peasants'  associations  to  disseminate  among  workers 
the  Government's  development  plans  and  Marxist-Leninist 
theories,  the  right  of  the  ETU  to  affiliate  with  international 
organizations,  restrictions  on  the  right  to  strike,  and 
nonrecognition  of  trade  union  rights  for  public  servants  and 
domestic  personnel. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

In  practice,  collective  bargaining  does  not  exist.   There  are 
no  export  processing  zones. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Slavery  was  officially  abolished  in  Ethiopia  in  1942,  but  the 
legal  code  does  not  otherwise  address  the  issue  of  forced  or 
compulsory  labor.   In  Socialist  Ethiopia,  citizens  are 
sometimes  called  on  to  perform  certain  civic  obligations, 
including  "volunteer"  assistance  in  community  work  projects 
such  as  road-building  and  emergency  repair.   In  factories, 
workers  are  also  expected  to  "volunteer"  extra  hours  at  no 
pay,  so  production  quotas  can  be  met. 

In  1989  the  expanding  civil  conflict  led  to  an  often  violent 
forced  conscription  of  teenage  youths.   Beginning  in  April, 
there  were  eyewitness  accounts  of  trucks  picking  up  youths  as 
young  as  13  from  Addis  Ababa's  market  area.   The  latest  round 
up  of  teenagers  in  Addis  Ababa  occurred  in  November.   Forced 
conscription  was  also  reported  in  other  areas  of  the  country. 
The  young  conscripts  were  often  under  armed  guard  and,  by  some 
accounts,  sometimes  chained  together  to  prevent  their  escape. 
Quotas  were  established  for  each  of  Addis  Ababa's  kebeles. 


d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  contract  employment  of  children  under  the  age  of  14  is 
prohibited  in  Ethiopia.   This  restriction  appears  to  be 
respected  in  factories,  shops,  and  among  domestic  workers, 
although  children  under  14  are  frequently  seen  as  street 
vendors  or  beggars. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Current  working  conditions  vary  according  to  occupation  and 
region,  but  hours  are  generally  long,  conditions  poor,  and 
wages  low.   Given  high  unemployment,  there  is  pressure  for 
existing  jobs  in  the  modern  economy.   The  minimum  wage  in 
Ethiopia  is  93  cents  per  day.   Even  in  a  country  with  the  low 
per  capita  GDP  of  $106,  such  a  low  minimum  wage  is  not 
sufficient  to  provide  a  decent  standard  of  living  for  an  urban 
worker  and  family.   On  the  other  hand,  only  unskilled  day 
laborers  usually  receive  such  a  low  wage. 

Fringe  benefits  not  required  by  law  (transportation,  meals, 
shelter)  raise  the  effective  minimum  wage.   In  some 
corporations,  fringe  benefits  reportedly  account  for  almost 
half  of  the  payroll.   Low-paid  workers  often  supplement  their 
income  by  holding  multiple  jobs,  receiving  help  from  the 
extended  family,  and  engaging  in  subsistence  farming. 
Government  wages  have  been  frozen  for  15  years.   Some  internal 
government  surveys  reveal  that  as  many  as  two  of  every  five 
salaried  government  workers  earn  less  than  what  is  required  to 
purchase  a  typical  Ethiopian  "grocery  basket." 


122 


ETHIOPIA 

The  law  establishes  8-hour  workdays  and  48-hour  workweeks. 
The  maximum  legal  workweek  is  generally  respected  in  practice, 
but  as  noted  there  is  much  uncompensated  "volunteer"  labor  to 
meet  factory  or  office  quotas.   Health  and  safety  codes  for 
the  workplace  are  rudimentary  and  remain  unenforced. 
Compensation  for  occupational  injuries  and  disabilities  is 
mandatory. 


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SABQH 

President  Omar  Bongo,  the  head  of  Gabon's  sole  political  party, 
the  Democratic  Party  of  Gabon  (PDG),  has  been  reelected  three 
times  in  uncontested  elections,  most  recently  in  November 
1986.   A  1983  constitutional  amendment  provides  that  only  the 
President-Founder  of  the  party  (President  Bongo)  may  be  a 
candidate  for  president.   Presidential  power  is  extensive  but 
in  practice  is  somewhat  limited  by  a  complex  governmental 
structure,  which  includes  a  42-member  Cabinet  headed  by  the 
Prime  Minister.   The  120-member  National  Assembly  has  no  real 
power.   All  major  ethnic  groups  and  regions  are  represented  in 
the  Government,  Political  Bureau,  and  Central  Committee  of  the 
party. 

The  armed  forces  are  comprised  of  approximately  4,000  army, 
navy,  and  air  force  personnel.   Internal  security  is  shared  by 
the  Gendarmerie,  a  paramilitary  force  of  2,700,  and  the 
National  Police,  consisting  of  2,000  troops,  which  works  with 
the  Gendarmerie  to  maintain  law  and  order  in  Libreville,  Port 
Gentil,  and  other  provincial  capitals.   Uncontrolled 
immigration  is  of  particular  concern.   Security  forces  monitor 
the  presence  and  activities  of  thousands  of  illegal  aliens  and 
occasionally  conduct  campaigns  to  find  and  deport  them. 

Gabon's  relatively  high  per  capita  income  ($3,200  in  1989)  is 
based  on  oil  revenues,  but  it  belies  the  underdeveloped  nature 
of  the  country  and  its  economy.   Although  endowed  with 
petroleum,  manganese,  uranium,  and  vast  timber  resources,  Gabon 
has  had  limited  agricultural  and  industrial  development  and 
must  import  most  of  its  food  and  manufactured  goods.   Rain 
forest  covers  85  percent  of  the  country,  and  approximately 
two-thirds  of  the  populace  lives  in  remote  areas.   The 
TransGabon  railroad,  completed  in  1986,  now  connects  the 
coastal  capital  of  Libreville  to  Franceville  in  the  southeast 
interior.   Due  to  the  precipitous  fall  in  revenue  from  oil 
exports  in  recent  years,  the  Government  has  imposed  austerity 
measures  to  meet  World  Bank  and  International  Monetary  Fund 
program  criteria.    A  massive  onshore  oil  field  discovered  in 
southern  Gabon  should  boost  petroleum  output  by  50  percent  by 
1990. 

Human  rights  continued  to  be  tightly  restricted  in  1989. 
Principal  concerns  included  mistreatment  of  prisoners  and 
detainees  (there  continued  to  be  allegations  of  mistreatment  of 
Equatorial  Guineans  held  as  illegal  aliens  by  the  security 
forces),  lack  of  procedural  safeguards  in  State  Security  Court 
trials,  and  restrictions  on  freedoms  of  speech,  press,  and 
assembly. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1  Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  no  known  political  killings  or  summary  executions  in 
1989. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  known  cases  of  abductions  or  disappearances 
ascribed  to  government  security  forces  or  any  other  group. 


124 


c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Gabonese  law  and  security  enforcement  officials  use  beatings  as 
part  of  the  interrogation  process.   Two  persons  arrested  in 
conjunction  with  a  foiled  coup  plot  in  late  1989  subsequently 
died  while  in  custody.   According  to  the  Government,  one  died 
from  malaria  and  the  other  from  a  combination  of  diabetes  and 
hypertension.   No  independent  medical  confirmation  of  the 
causes  of  death  had  been  made  available  by  year's  end. 

Prison  conditions  are  harsh,  and  the  main  prison,  Central 
Prison,  has  poor  hygiene,  inadequate  medical  facilities,  and 
insufficient  food.   No  specific  instances  of  mistreatment  of 
prisoners  came  to  light  in  1989,  but  Amnesty  International's 
(AI)  1988  Report  stated  that  a  number  of  criminal  suspects  and 
alleged  illegal  aliens  had  been  beaten  and  tortured  at  Central 
Prison  in  Libreville  in  1987. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Gabonese  law  protects  against  arbitrary  detention  through 
clearly  articulated  judicial  procedures  (in  the  French 
tradition) .   Security  forces  have  been  known  to  disregard  the 
procedures,  particularly  in  security  cases,  by  detaining 
persons  indefinitely  without  charge.   The  Constitution 
specifies  that  "acts  against  the  security  of  the  State"  and 
"actions  against  the  Chief  of  State,"  which  can  include 
advocating  a  multiparty  system,  are  punishable  crimes.   There 
were,  however,  no  known  political  detainees  or  prisoners  held 
during  1989. 

Exile  is  not  used  as  a  means  of  political  control  nor  as  a 
sentence  for  convicted  criminals.   With  regard  to  forced  or 
compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  court  system,  modeled  on  the  French,  has  several  levels. 
The  trial  court  (Tribunal  de  Premier  Instance)  hears  questions 
of  fact  and  law  in  civil,  commercial,  ordinary  criminal  and 
administrative  cases.   The  appellate  level  is  divided  into  two 
courts,  with  a  separate  appeals  court  for  criminal  cases.   The 
highest  level,  the  Supreme  Court,  has  four  chambers. 

Outside  the  normal  court  system,  there  is  a  military  tribunal 
to  handle  all  offenses  under  military  law,  a  State  Security 
Court,  and  a  special  criminal  court  which  deals  with  fraud  and 
embezzlement  of  public  funds  by  officials.   The  right  to  a  fair 
public  trial  is  provided  for  in  the  Constitution  and  generally 
has  been  respected  in  criminal  cases,  but  important  procedural 
safeguards  are  lacking  in  State  Security  Court  trials.   State 
Security  Court  trials  are  open  to  the  public,  and  defendants 
are  represented  by  counsel,  with  the  right  to  appeal  to  the 
Supreme  Court  or,  if  turned  down  by  the  Supreme  Court,  to  the 
President.   However,  court  officials  are  appointed  by  the 
President,  who  can  also  transfer  and  dismiss  them  by  decree. 
Although  the  judiciary  is  susceptible  to  intervention  by  the 
executive,  particularly  in  political  or  security  cases,  there 
was  no  indication  that  such  intervention  occurred  in  1989.   On 
January  1,  1989,  and  and  on  the  20th  anniversary  of  the  ruling 
PDG,  President  Bongo  continued  his  practice  of  commuting  the 
sentences  of  first  offenders  who  were  not  convicted  of  first 
degree  murder  or  armed  robbery. 


125 


QABQH 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Search  warrants  may  be  obtained  after  the  fact  but,  as 
occasionally  happens  in  cases  of  suspected  illegal  aliens, 
sometimes  they  are  not  obtained  at  all.   There  were  credible 
reports  that  in  many  cases  the  homes  of  those  detained  were 
ransacked  by  security  forces  who  confiscated  personal  effects. 
The  Government  periodically  monitors  communications. 
Membership  in  the  ruling  PDG  is  not  mandatory,  but  it  enhances 
opportunities  for  political  and  career  advancement.   Gabonese 
citizens'  livelihoods  are  not  normally  compromised  by  failure 
to  join  the  party. 

Section  2   Respect  For  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

These  freedoms  are  restricted.   Neither  direct  public  criticism 
of  the  President  nor  advocacy  of  a  multiparty  political  system 
is  permitted.   Gabonese  citizens  with  access  to  the  President 
can  express  (and  have  expressed)  their  views,  including 
criticisms,  directly  to  him  in  private  meetings,  and  there  has 
been  no  retribution  as  a  result.   Public  media — radio, 
television,  and  the  sole  daily  newspaper  L 'Union — are 
controlled  by  the  Ministry  of  Information  and  disseminate 
government  visws  and  communiques.   The  media  carry  wire  service 
material  (mostly  Agence  France  Presse)  which  gives  the  public 
some  coverage  of  world  events.   The  broadcasts  of  prodemocracy 
demonstrations  in  China  were  apparently  edited  by  the  local 
television  station  which  downplayed  the  impact  of  the  mass 
demonstrations.   However,  the  Government  allowed  the  French 
satellite  system  to  broadcast  these  events.   The  President 
encourages  journalists  to  point  out  failures  of  individual 
government  officials  or  ministries  and  to  highlight 
inefficiency  and  corruption.   Although  foreign  books  and 
magazines  containing  "scurrilous"  material  have  been  banned  in 
the  past,  this  practice  has  not  occurred  in  recent  years. 

Academic  freedom  is  limited  and  public  criticism  of  the 
President  or  of  the  political  system  is  not  allowed.   In  1989 
students  engaged  in  protest  actions  against  curriculum  content. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  Government  limits  freedom  of  assembly  and  association  to 
recognized  organizations.   Permits  and  police  notification  are 
required  for  all  outdoor  meetings.   The  Government  generally 
permits  such  meetings  only  if  they  are  organized  by  the  ruling 
party  (and  its  ancillary  units  such  as  the  women's,  youth,  and 
labor  movements),  cultural  and  entertainment  impresarios,  or 
recognized  church  groups.   Demonstrations  are  not  permitted. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

There  is  no  state  religion,  and  the  Constitution  provides  for 
religious  freedom.   Because  their  activities  were  considered  by 
the  Government  as  fostering  disunity,  Jehovah's  Witnesses  and 
several  small  syncretistic  sects  were  banned  by  presidential 
decree  in  1970.   The  decree  was  reiterated  in  1985.   As 
recently  as  1987,  the  courts  sentenced  24  Jehovah's  Witnesses 
to  short  or  suspended  terms  for  belonging  to  a  banned 
organization. 


126 


The  primary  faiths  are  Catholic  and  Protestant.   There  are  a 
few  Muslims  (including  President  Bongo)  and  numerous  adherents 
to  traditional  religions.   Foreign  missionaries,  including 
Americans,  are  engaged  actively  in  evangelical  and 
administrative  capacities. 

d.   Freedotn  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Movement  of  i>oth  Gabonese  citizens  and  expatriates  within  the 
country  is  not  restricted  formally,  but  travelsrs  occasionally 
encounter  gendarmerie  control  points  where  identity  cards  and 
other  documents  are  examined.   While  Gabonese  citizens  may 
return  freely  to  Gabon  from  abroad,  they  must  obtain  exit 
permits  from  the  police,  and  government  employees  must  obtain 
permission  to  travel  abroad. 

There  are  approximately  200,000  non-Gabonese  resident  in  Gabon, 
many  of  whom  ace  from  Equatorial  Guinea  or  Cameroon. 
Imm?.gro;.lon  laws  and  presidential  deciaes  promulgated  in  1985 
imposed  heavy  monetary  guarantee  requirements  on  non-French  and 
non-American  axpatriates  working  in  Gabon  and  leviad  exit  visa  ■ 
fees  for  each  departure  from  che  country.   The  Gendarmerie 
periodica-^.y  det3ins  undocumented  aliens  who  are  :hen  placed  in 
a  holding  camp  under  harsh  condi.ions.   Most  of  che   decainees 
are  .oleased  if-sr  paying  fines  and  bribes.   In  August  the 
Government  of  Senegal  arranged  for  the  voluntary  repatriation 
from  Gabon  of  some  1,000  of  its  citizens. 

The  Government  encourages  but  does  not  Eorce  "regroupment ' — the 
voluntary  consolidation  of  small  rural  communicies  into  larger 
villages  along  a  road — by  enhancing  the  delivery  of  public 
services  such  3S  water,  electricity,  and  schooling  m  the 
larger  7:>.  xiages  . 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights;   The  Right  of  Citizens 
CO  Chahge  Their  Government 

The  present  policical  system  does  not  accord  citizens  che  right 
to  change  their  govsrnment  through  the  electoral  process.   The 
Democratic  Party  of  Gabon  (PDG)  is  the  sole  political  party  of 
Gabon.   A  party  rrons: itu~ion  amendment  (March  1981)  restricts 
candidacy  for  presidential  elections  lO  the  Founder -President 
of  che  PDG   Among  party  members,  there  is  competicion  cor 
elections  to  the  National  Assembly  and  for  posicions  on  the 
Central  Committee,  but  this  maneuvering  is  wichin  the  sole 
political  perty   Presidential  elections  are  held  during  the 
7th  year  of  the  President's  term.   Nacional  Assembly  merabei:s 
are  elected  for  5  years    The  f^ounci]  of  Ministers,  which  meets 
under  the  chairmanship  of  the  President  or,  occasionally   ':he 
Prime  Minister,  approves  all  government  decisions  proposed  by 
che  President.   The  42-membei  Cabinet  (reshuffled  slightly  in 
August)  includes  representatives  o^  maior  ethnic  groupb  from 
all  regions  of  the  country   This  large  Cabinet  allows  the 
various  interest  groups  to  havn  a  review  role  in  policy 
formulation,  a  share  in  politica)  patronage,  and  a  consultative 
role  on  national  resource  distribution. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Ailegec  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

Gabon  has  not  been  the  object  of  human  •.  ights  investigations  in 
recent  years,  but  in  1989  it  invited  representacives  of  Amnesty 


127 


GAfiQH 

International  and  other  human  rights  organizations  to  visit 
Gabon  to  ensure  that  coup  plotters  arrested  in  August  receive 
good  treatment  and  due  process  of  law.   President  Bongo 
repeated  his  invitation  to  human  rights  observers  in  a  November 
address  to  the  nation  in  which  he  also  announced  that  the  coup 
plotters  would  be  tried  by  the  civil  courts  rather  than  placed 
under  the  jurisdiction  of  a  military  court.   There  are  no  local 
human  rights  groups.   In  the  cabinet  reshuffle  of  August, 
responsibility  for  human  rights  questions  remained  with  the 
Secretary  of  State  for  Promotion  of  Women. 

Section  5  Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Gabon's  relative  prosperity  has  enabled  the  Government  to 
extend  health  and  social  security  benefits  to  all  its  people, 
regardless  of  tribal  affiliation  or  region.   Recent 
difficulties  in  maintaining  these  benefits  have  been  due  to 
severe  budget  cutbacks  rather  than  to  discriminatory 
practices.   There  are  no  significant  ethnic,  racial,  religious, 
or  social  groups  that  have  recently  suffered  mistreatment  by 
the  Government. 

Urban  women  are  moving  increasingly  into  the  professions  due  to 
improved  educational  opportunities,  including  in  technical 
training  institutions  in  urban  areas.   Government  and  party 
policies  are  supportive.   In  rural  Gabon  women  still  fill 
largely  traditional  roles  built  around  family  and  village, 
e.g.,  hauling  water,  tending  fields.   The  gradual  introduction 
of  piped-in  water  and  of  electricity  has  had  the  effect  of 
improving  living  standards  for  rural  women. 

Violence  against  women  in  Gabon,  including  wife  beating, 
occurs,  but  there  are  no  studies  or  statistics  available  to 
help  determine  the  extent  of  the  problem.   However,  violence 
against  women  is  believed  to  be  infrequent  as  it  is  not  part  of 
the  traditional  social  contest.   The  incidents  that  are 
reported  in  the  media  from  time  to  time  invariably  have  their 
genesis  within  the  context  of  domestic  disputes  or  are  related 
to  violence  against  prostitutes.   The  Government  does  not 
condone  such  behavior  but  has  not  directly  addressed  the  issue. 

Section  6   Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

Workers  may  organize  labor  unions  but  are  not  free  to  form  and 
join  unions  of  their  own  choosing.   All  unions  must  be 
affiliated  with  the  government-sponsored  Labor  Confederation  of 
Gabon  (COSYGA) ,  which  is  a  specialized  organ  of  the  PDG  and  the 
sole  labor  federation.   It  is  estimated  that  over  half  of 
Gabon's  90,000  salaried  private-sector  workers  are  unionized. 
Government  employees  are  not  permitted  to  belong  to  unions. 

Under  Gabonese  law,  the  right  to  strike  continues  to  be 
severely  restricted;  strikes  are  illegal  if  they  occur  before 
remedies  prescribed  under  the  Labor  Code  (1978)  have  been 
exhausted.   In  June  demonstrators  gathered  outside  the 
presidential  palace  to  protest  a  change  in  the  Labor  Code  which 
would  have  legalized  piece-rate  work  in  the  industrial  sector. 
President  Bongo  met  with  a  labor  delegation  to  discuss  the 
matter,  and  he  later  agreed  to  rescind  the  announced  change. 
In  an  unusual  conciliatory  move,  the  demonstrators  were  paid 
their  regular  wages  for  the  afternoon  of  the  demonstration. 
Utilities  workers  in  Gabon's  oil  capital  of  Port  Gentil  have 


128 


GABON 

Staged  work  stoppages  in  the  past  to  protest  government-ordered 
cuts  in  salaries  and  personnel  at  the  state-owned  utilities 
company. 

COSYGA  is  a  member  of  the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union 
Unity  and  maintains  ties  with  the  International  Labor 
Organization  (ILO)  and  the  American  Federation  of  Labor  and 
Congress  of  Industrial  Organizations  and  other  national  trade 
union  centers. 

In  its  1989  report,  the  ILO  Committee  of  Experts  (COE) 
indicated  that,  in  order  to  conform  with  Convention  87  on 
Freedom  of  Association,  the  Government  should  revise  existing 
legislation  to:   provide  workers  who  wish  to  form  unions  of 
their  own  choosing  the  right  to  do  so;  eliminate  the  obligation 
imposed  on  workers  to  pay  a  solidarity  tax  without  their 
consent;  and  eliminate  compulsory  arbitration  which  effectively 
makes  it  legally  impossible  to  strike. 

b.  The  Right  To  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Unions  in  each  sector  negotiate  with  management  over  specific 
pay  scales,  working  conditions,  and  benefits  applicable  to 
their  industry.   Representatives  of  labor,  management,  and 
government  meet  annually  to  agree  on  the  minimum  wage,  which  is 
determined  within  guidelines  provided  by  the  Government. 
Agreements  reached  between  labor  and  management  in  each  sector 
also  apply  to  nonunion  and  expatriate  labor.   According  to  the 
Labor  Code,  workers  may  individually  or  collectively  take 
complaints  of  code  violations  to  arbitration  and  may  appeal  to 
labor  and  national  courts.   These  provisions  are  respected  in 
practice.   There  are  no  export  processing  zones  in  Gabon. 

The  1989  report  of  the  COE  recommends  that  existing  legislation 
be  revised  to  expand  protection  against  antiunion 
discrimination  and  to  provide  protection,  including  penal 
sanctions,  for  workers'  organizations  against  employer 
interference. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Although  forced  labor  is  prohibited  by  law,  the  COE  has  for 
many  years  noted  that  provisions  of  the  Merchant  Shipping  Code 
are  incompatible  with  ILO  Conventions  on  forced  labor.   These 
provisions  permit  the  use  of  compulsory  duties  as  one  means  of 
administrative  punishment  or  reprimand  for  merchant  seamen. 
The  Government  has  often  said  that  it  is  amending  the  Code,  but 
it  has  taken  no  action  to  date. 

d.  Minimum  Age  For  Employment  of  Children 

No  minor  below  the  age  of  16  may  work  without  the  authorization 
of  the  Ministries  of  Labor,  Public  Health,  and  Education,  which 
enforce  this  provision.   It  is  granted  rarely,  and  few 
employees  in  the  modern  wage  sector  are  below  the  age  of  18. 
Children  at  younger  ages  are  involved  in  traditional  family 
farm  labor  in  rural  areas. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

The  (1978)  Labor  Code  and  the  (1982)  General  Convention  of 
Labor  govern  working  conditions  and  benefits  for  all  sectors. 
Labor  legislation  provides  broad  protection  to  workers.   The 
minimum  wage  for  unskilled  labor  since  April  1985  has  been 
about  $200  per  month  for  Gabonese  and  about  $150  for 


129 


SAEQH 

foreigners.   Owing  to  labor  shortages,  most  salaries  are  much 
higher.   These  wages  provide  a  decent  living  for  workers  and 
their  families.   Work  over  40  hours  per  week  must  be 
compensated  with  overtime,  and  the  workweek  must  include  a 
minimum  rest  period  of  48  consecutive  hours.   Women  have  a 
right  to  14  weeks  of  leave  during  pregnancy,  including  6  weeks 
before  delivery. 

The  Labor  Code  provides  for  occupational  health  and  safety 
standards  to  be  established  by  decree  of  the  Minister  of 
Health.   Adherence  to  these  standards,  which  are  generally 
adopted  from  the  French  model,  varies  greatly  and  usually 
reflects  company  policy  rather  than  governmental  enforcement 
efforts.   There  has  been  little  unemployment  for  Gabonese 
wishing  to  enter  the  wage  economy,  although  it  has  been 
increasing  as  the  economy  reacts  to  the  recent  decline  in  world 
oil  prices. 


130 


THE  GAMBIA 


The  Gambia  is  a  parliamentary  democracy  with  an  elected 
president  and  legislature.   Except  for  a  coup  attempt  in  1981, 
The  Gambia  has  had  a  history  of  political  stability  under  the 
leadership  of  its  only  President  since  independence  in  1965, 
Sir  Dawda  Jawara.   His  ruling  People's  Progressive  Party  (PPP) 
has  dominated  the  unicameral  Parliament,  but  several 
opposition  parties  participate  in  the  political  process, 
including  two  new  political  parties  formed  in  1986.   In  the 
parliamentary  and  presidential  elections  held  in  March  1987, 
President  Jawara  was  reelected  by  a  large  margin,  and  PPP 
candidates  won  an  overwhelming  majority  in  Parliament. 

The  confederation  between  The  Gambia  and  Senegal,  established 
in  1982  following  the  coup  attempt,  formally  ended  in 
September  1989,  following  Senegal's  withdrawal  of  its  security 
forces  from  The  Gambia.   The  two  countries  disagreed  over  the 
function  and  ultimate  purpose  of  the  confederation,  with  The 
Gambia  insisting  upon  its  sovereignty  and  Senegal  favoring  a 
more  fully  integrated  economic  union.   The  Gambia  has  a  small 
army  with  an  attached  naval  unit  organized  and  trained  by 
British  officers.   Its  gendarmerie  forces,  formerly  headed  by 
Senegalese  officers,  are  now  under  Gambian  leadership.   The 
combined  confederal  battalion,  which  had  been  two-thirds 
Senegalese  and  one-third  Gambian,  was  disbanded  in  September 
1989. 

The  Gambia's  estimated  population  of  784,000  consists  largely 
of  subsistence  farmers  growing  rice  and  groundnuts  (peanuts), 
the  country's  primary  export  crop.   The  Gambia  in  1989 
continued  a  stringent  program  of  economic  reform  which  met  the 
targets  agreed  upon  with  the  International  Monetary  Fund,  the 
World  Bank,  and  other  donors.   The  program  has  allowed  The 
Gambia  to  reschedule  its  external  debt  and  to  receive  new  loan 
and  grant  assistance. 

The  Gambia  has  made  particular  efforts  to  promote  observance 
of  human  rights,  including  the  subject  in  its  Constitution  of 
April  24,  1970.   In  June  the  Organization  of  African  Unity's 
(OAU)  Commission  on  Human  and  People's  Rights  established  its 
headquarters  in  Banjul.   The  Gambian  Government  founded  a 
Centre  for  Democracy  and  Human  Rights  Studies,  in  conjunction 
with  the  OAU  headquarters,  to  serve  as  a  research  institution 
and  training  center  for  human  rights  issues. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 
There  were  no  instances  of  political  killings. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  disappearances. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  were  no  allegations  of  torture  in  1989.   The 
Constitution  prohibits  torture  and  other  cruel,  inhuman,  and 
degrading  punishment. 


131 


THE  GAMBIA 

Prison  conditions  are  severe,  and  there  have  been  occasional 
reports  of  mistreatment  of  prisoners.   The  deaths  of  several 
inmates  in  1988  at  one  prison  due  to  inadequate  diet  was 
investigated  by  a  Presidential  Commission  on  Prison 
Conditions.   The  Commission  found  nutritional  deficiencies  and 
some  overcrowding,  and  its  recommendations  led  to  prison 
reforms,  including  the  passage  of  legislation  specifying  an 
adequate  prison  diet.   The  Government  allows  prison  visits  by 
representatives  of  the  local  Red  Cross  and  by  close  family 
members . 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Based  on  British  legal  practice,  well-developed  constitutional 
and  legal  procedures  govern  the  arrest,  detention,  and  trial 
of  persons  accused  of  crimes.   Under  these  procedures,  a 
detained  person  must  be  brought  to  trial  within  1  week  of 
arrest.   This  waiting  period,  however,  can  be  extended  twice, 
making  21  days  the  maximum  period  of  detention  before  trial. 

In  1987  the  Government  detained  several  suspected  members  of 
the  Movement  for  Justice  in  Africa,  which  was  banned  in  1980. 
They  were  later  released  without  charges  being  brought  on 
political  grounds,  although  some  were  charged  and  tried  for 
possession  of  cannabis.   There  were  no  political  detainees 
being  held  at  the  end  of  1989.   There  are  some  self-exiled 
opposition  elements  who  would  be  arrested  for  suspected 
involvement  in  the  1981  coup  attempt  if  they  returned  to  The 
Gambia,  e.g.,  the  alleged  leader  of  the  plot,  Kukoi  Samba 
Sanyang . 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Three  kinds  of  law  operate  in  The  Gambia:   general,  Shari'a, 
and  customary  law.   Shari'a,  governing  Muslims,  is  observed  in 
marriage  and  divorce  proceedings.   Customary  law  covers 
marriage  and  divorce  for  non-Muslims,  inheritance,  land  tenure 
and  utilization,  local  tribal  government,  and  all  other 
traditional  civil  and  social  relations.   General  law,  based  on 
English  statutes  and  modified  to  suit  the  Gambian  context, 
governs  criminal  cases  and  trials  and  most  organized  business 
practices.   If  there  were  a  conflict  between  general  law  and 
Shari'a,  general  law  would  prevail. 

The  Constitution  provides  criminal  defendants  with  the 
traditional  rights  of  the  English  legal  system,  such  as 
presumption  of  innocence,  the  right  of  the  accused  to  be 
informed  promptly  of  the  charges,  and  the  right  to  a  public 
trial.   If  released  on  bail,  an  accused  person  may  face 
charges  indefinitely,  since  there  is  no  maximum  time  limit  for 
completing  the  investigation  and  bringing  the  case  to  trial. 
Appeals  normally  proceed  from  the  Supreme  (trial)  Court  to  the 
Court  of  Appeals,  the  country's  highest  tribunal. 

While  the  judiciary  operates  independently  and  is  free  of 
government  interference,  judges  are  appointed  by  the 
Government.   Because  of  the  shortage  of  legal  professionals  in 
The  Gambia,  the  legal  system  is  staffed  in  part  by  judges  and 
prosecuting  and  defense  attorneys  from  other  English-speaking 
countries  having  the  same  basic  legal  system  as  the  Gambia. 

An  opposition  journalist,  Sana  Manneh,  editor  of  The  Torch, 
accused  four  cabinet  ministers  of  corruption  in  1988  and 


132 


THE  GAMBIA 

subsequently  was  charged  with  libeling  three  of  them  in 
October  1988.   A  4-nionth  trial  ensued,  avidly  followed  by  the 
private  press  and  the  public.   In  April  Manneh  was  acquitted 
on  two  counts  of  libel  and  given  a  warning  for  a  third,  less 
serious  count.   The  Government  appealed  this  decision,  and  a 
hearing  date  is  set  for  March  1990. 

The  Government  released  40  prisoners  in  December  1988  in  honor 
of  the  40th  anniversary  of  the  Universal  Declaration  of  Human 
Rights.   In  February  1989,  in  commemoration  of  Gambian 
independence.  President  Jawara  announced  the  release  of  50 
more  prisoners,  some  of  whom  had  participated  in  the  1981  coup 
attempt.   Currently,  there  are  no  known  political  prisoners  in 
The  Gambia. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  Constitution  provides  guarantees,  which  are  respected  in 
practice,  against  arbitrary  search  of  person  and  property.   It 
does  permit  a  search  to  which  a  suspect  submits  voluntarily  or 
if  it  is  reasonably  required  in  the  interest  of  national 
defense  or  public  welfare.   Under  the  Gambian  criminal  code, 
search  warrants  based  on  probable  cause  are  issued  by 
magistrates  upon  application  by  the  police.   The  code  also 
specifies  that  police  may  conduct  a  search  of  a  private 
residence  while  a  crime  is  in  progress.   There  are  a  few 
police  and  military  checkpoints  in  and  around  Banjul,  which 
periodically  stop  drivers  and  search  vehicles. 

The  rights  of  family  are  of  extreme  importance  in  The  Gambia's 
conservative  Muslim  society.   Marriage,  the  raising  of 
children,  and  religious  instruction  are  regulated  by  a 
combination  of  personal  preference  and  ethnic  and  religious 
tradition.   The  Government  does  not  normally  intrude  in  family 
matters.   Family  planning  is  encouraged  but  not  enforced. 
There  is  no  effort  to  censor  or  control  personal 
correspondence  or  communications. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  speech  and  press. 
While  opposition  parties  have  been  relatively  inactive  since 
the  1987  elections,  members  freely  express  their  opinions 
about  the  Government  and  ruling  party. 

The  Government  does  not  attempt  to  censor  published  materials, 
whether  they  originate  within  or  outside  the  country.   In 
practical  terms.  The  Gambia,  with  its  small,  mainly  rural, 
largely  illiterate,  multilingual  population,  does  not  support 
an  active  press.   There  are  no  daily  newspapers.   The 
Government  and  the  People's  Progressive  Party  have  newspapers 
which  are  published  on  a  biweekly  or  monthly  basis.   There  are 
several  independent,  intermittently  published,  mimeographed 
newssheets.   Both  the  opposition  and  the  independent  press  are 
openly  critical  of  the  Government.   A  biweekly  mimeographed 
paper,  sponsored  by  a  legal  Socialist  party,  has  been 
particularly  vocal  in  condemning  the  governing  party.   There 
is,  however,  some  degree  of  self-censorship  in  the  government- 
owned  media,  which  exercises  restraint  in  reporting  criticism 
of  the  Government.   During  the  libel  trial  of  the  journalist 
who  accused  four  cabinet  ministers  of  corruption.  Radio  Gambia 
and  the  official  press  ceased  coverage  after  the  first  week  of 


133 


THE  GAMBIA 

the  trial.   However,  the  Socialist  paper  reported  on  the  daily 
events  of  the  trial  and  was  widely  distributed;  the 
international  press  also  covered  the  story. 

There  is  no  television  in  The  Gambia,  although  Senegalese 
broadcasts  can  be  received.   The  Government  dominates  the 
media  through  Radio  Gambia.   There  have  been  no  reported 
instances  of  government  interference  with  the  one  commercial 
radio  station,  which  mainly  broadcasts  music.   Foreign 
magazines  and  newspapers  are  available  in  the  capital.   There 
is  no  university  in  The  Gambia. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

In  general,  there  is  no  interference  with  the  freedom  of 
association  and  assembly  which  is  provided  for  in  the 
Constitution.   The  Government  almost  always  grants  permits  for 
peaceful  assembly  but  requires  that  these  meetings  be  open  to 
the  public.   However,  the  Movement  for  Justice  in  Africa, 
which  was  suspected  of  involvement  in  the  1981  coup  attempt, 
is  banned. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

The  constitutional  provisions  of  freedom  of  conscience, 
thought,  and  religion  are  observed  in  practice.   The  State  is 
secular,  although  Muslims  constitute  over  90  percent  of  the 
population.   The  schools  provide  instruction  in  the  Koran  for 
Muslim  students.   Christians,  both  Catholic  and  Protestant, 
freely  practice  their  religion.   There  is  a  small  Baha'i 
community  in  Banjul.   Missionaries  are  permitted  to  carry  on 
their  various  mission-related  activities  openly  and  freely. 
There  is  no  evidence  of  discrimination  in  employment, 
education,  or  in  other  areas  of  Gambian  life  on  religious 
grounds . 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  movement,  subject  to 
conditions  protecting  public  safety,  health,  and  morals. 
There  is  no  restriction  on  freedom  of  emigration  or  freedom  of 
return.   Internally,  police  and  military  checkpoints  exist  in 
and  around  Banjul,  but  there  is  no  evidence  that  police  harass 
travelers.   Because  of  historic  and  ethnic  ties  with  the 
inhabitants  of  Senegal,  Guinea-Bissau,  Mali,  Sierra  Leone,  and 
Mauritania,  people  tend  to  move  freely  across  borders,  which 
are  poorly  marked  and  difficult  to  police.   Under  the 
confederation  treaty  of  1981,  neither  Gambians  nor  Senegalese 
have  needed  passports  or  visas  to  travel  to  or  reside  in  the 
other  country.   It  is  not  clear  whether  this  will  change  as  a 
result  of  the  recent  dissolution  of  the  confederation.   The 
Gambia  also  recognizes  the  Economic  Community  of  West  African 
States'  (ECOWAS)  protocol  which  allows  entry  of  ECOWAS  country 
citizens  for  up  to  90  days  without  visas. 

In  late  April  and  May,  during  the  ethnic  violence  and  unrest 
in  Mauritania  and  Senegal,  over  7,000  Mauritanian  citizens 
sought  refuge  from  Senegal  in  The  Gambia.   The  Gambian 
Government  moved  quickly,  in  conjunction  with  the  Red  Cross 
and  other  donors,  to  set  up  temporary  camps  and  feeding 
centers  for  the  Mauritanians  and  later  arranged  an  airlift  to 


134 

THE  GAMBIA 

help  their  voluntary  return  to  Mauritania. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  President  and  the  Members  of  Parliament  are  popularly- 
elected,  as  are  the  district  councils  and  the  chiefs,  who 
exercise  traditional  authority  in  the  villages  and  compounds. 
Presidential  and  parliamentary  elections  are  held  every  5 
years.   Citizens  must  be  at  least  18  years  of  age  to  vote. 
Balloting  is  secret,  and  measures  are  employed  to  assure  that 
illiterate  voters  understand  the  choices  and  voting 
procedure.   A  functioning  multiparty  system  exists  in  The 
Gambia  even  though  the  People's  Progressive  Party  under  the 
leadership  of  President  Jawara  has  been  in  power  since 
independence.   The  principal  opposition  party,  the  National 
Convention  Party  (NCP),  contests  both  national  and  district 
elections.   Two  newly  formed  opposition  parties,  the  Gambia 
People's  Party  (GPP)  and  the  People's  Democratic  Organization 
for  Independence  and  Socialism  (PDOIS) ,  contested  for  office 
in  the  March  1987  presidential  and  parliamentary  elections. 
Campaigning  was  vigorous,  active,  and  open  to  all  parties. 
The  ruling  PPP  won  by  an  overwhelming  majority  and  now  holds 
31  of  36  elective  seats  in  the  Parliament.   The  NCP  was  the 
only  opposition  party  to  win  seats.   The  opposition  charged 
that  the  election  was  manipulated  by  the  Government  but  did 
not  provide  evidence  to  support  its  allegations.   The 
opposition  also  charged,  with  some  justification,  that  the  PPP 
benefited  from  its  control  of  Radio  Gambia  and  access  to 
government  vehicles  for  campaigning. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Govarnment  is  responsive  to  charges  of  human  rights 
violations  and  permits  visits  of  international  human  rights 
organizations  to  observe  the  conditioas  of  detainees  and  the 
trial  process.   There  were  no  reported  requests  by  such 
organizations  for  investigation  of  alleged  human  rights  abuses 
in  The  Gambia  during  1989.   The  Gambia  is  an  3,::ti/e  member  of 
the  Un; red  Nations  Human  lights  Commission  and  of  rhe 
Organization  of  African  Unity's  (OAU)  Commission  on  Human  and 
Peoples'  Rights.   It  took  the  initiative  in  persuading  the  OAU 
to  locate  the  Commission  in  Banjul  which  opened  in  June  1989. 
The  Government  has  also  established  the  African  Centre  for 
Democracy  and  Human  Bights  StuCiSs  in  conjunct  ion  with  the  OAU 
Corami.ssion,  which  held  its  first  colloquium  in  November. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  Gambiar  population  is  overwhelmingly  Muslim  and  rural, 
with  8^  percent  living  in  villages   While  personal  initiative 
and  choice  are  valued,  there  is  considerable  emphasis  on  the 
collective  aspects  of  rights  and  piivileges.   Traditional 
views,  especially  about  the  role  of  women  in  society,  are 
changing,  but  veiy  slowly.   Marriages  are  sciil  often 
arranged,  and  Mus ' im  cradltion  a' lows  for  polygamy.   Domestic 
violence  (wife  beating)  and  female  circumcision  are  common 
practices  in  The  'Gambia  as  in  the  region,  reinforced  by 
traditional  beliefs.   As  a  result,  the  Government  has  been 
passive  in  attempting  to  ■■•ounter  these  practices.   However, 
the  Women's  Bureau  in  t-.he  Office  of  the  President  conducted  a 
study  in  late  1989  of  women  s  rights,  including  specific 


135 


THE  GAMBIA 

questions  on  domestic  violence,  that  will  be  used  as  the  basis 
for  recommendations  to  the  law  reform  commission.   The  Women's 
Bureau  conducts  an  ongoing  campaign  in  the  rural  areas  to  make 
women  aware  of  their  legal  rights  in  divorce,  property 
matters,  and  in  cases  of  assault. 

In  villages  the  women  continue  to  perform  work  in  the  field 
and  provide  for  the  majority  of  local  food  production.   Women 
also  play  an  important  role  in  the  small,  modern  wage  sector 
of  the  economy.   Most  are  in  semiskilled  jobs  (e.g.,  assembly 
work,  handicraft  shops,  bus  conductors),  very  few  are  in 
skilled  trades  (e.g.,  carpentry,  auto  repair),  and  a  small  but 
growing  number  are  in  midlevel  supervisory  positions  (e.g., 
civil  service,  tourist  hotels,  and  banks).   There  is  no  wage 
or  benefits  discrimination  for  jobs  that  are  performed  both  by 
men  and  women.   Females  comprise  over  one-third  of  the 
students  in  primary  school,  and,  with  growing  educational 
opportunities,  women  are  beginning  to  participate  increasingly 
in  the  professions  and  in  political  life. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.  The  Right  of  Association 

The  Labor  Administration  Act  specifies  that  workers  are  free 
to  form  associations,  including  trade  unions.   However,  less 
than  20  percent  of  the  work  force  is  engaged  in  the  modern 
wage  sector  of  the  economy,  where  unions  normally  are  active. 
The  Gambian  Workers'  Confederation  (GWC)  and  the  Gambian 
Workers  Union  (GWU) ,  are  the  two  main  independent  and 
competing  umbrella  organizations,  and  both  are  recognized  by, 
and  have  a  good  working  relationship  with,  the  Government. 

The  Labor  Administration  Act  authorizes  strikes.   However, 
because  of  a  required  14-day  cooling  off  period  (21  days  in 
essential  services),  government  conciliation  efforts,  and  the 
poor  bargaining  strength  of  the  unions,  few  strikes  actually 
occur.   In  September  about  200  workers  of  the  China  Building 
Material  Company  outside  of  Banjul  went  on  strike  following 
the  dismissal  of  a  worker;  the  outstanding  issues  appeared  to 
be  differences  between  the  Chinese  management  and  Gambian 
labor  practices. 

As  a  result  of  an  incomplete  merger  effort  between  the  GWC  and 
the  GWU,  both  organizations  claim  affiliation  to  the 
International  Confederation  of  Free  Trade  Unions  (ICFTU); 
however,  the  ICFTU  continues  to  recognize  the  GWU  as  its 
affiliate.   Both  unions  are  affiliated  with  the  Organization 
of  African  Trade  Union  Unity.   In  addition,  there  are  two 
other  Gambian  labor  confederations,  the  Gambian  Labor 
Confederation,  which  is  affiliated  with  the  Communist- 
controlled  World  Federation  of  Trade  Unions,  and  the  Gambian 
Trade  Union  Congress,  which  is  affiliated  with  the  World 
Confederation  of  Labor.   The  Gambia  is  not  a  member  of  the 
International  Labor  Organization. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Under  the  Labor  Administration  Act,  workers  have  the  right  to 
organize  and  bargain  collectively.   While  trade  unions  are 
small  and  fragmented,  collective  bargaining  agreements  in  May 
resulted  in  revised  minimum  wage  rates  for  categories  of 
workers  in  construction,  carpentry,  electrical  engineering, 
transportation,  shipyards,  hotels,  and  other  occupations. 
There  is  no  export  processing  zone  in  The  Gambia.   i^abor  laws 


136 


THE  GAMBIA 
ate  applied  uniformly  throughout  the  country. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

The  Criminal  Code  prohibits  compulsory  labor.   There  is  no 
evidence  of  forced  or  compulsory  labor  in  The  Gambia. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  official  minimum  age  for  employment  is  18.   However, 
because  of  the  paucity  of  secondary  school  opportunities,  most 
children  complete  their  formal  education  by  age  14  and 
informally  enter  the  work  force.   Control  of  child  labor  does 
not  apply  to  customary  chores  on  family  farms  or  street 
trading . 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Minimum  wages  and  hours  of  work  are  determined  by  the  Joint 
Industrial  Council,  pursuant  to  the  Labor  Administration  Act, 
which  has  representation  from  employees,  employers,  and 
government.   For  example,  the  minimum  wage  for  an  unskilled 
laborer  is  approximately  $1.20  per  day,  usually  supplemented 
with  transport  and  other  allowances.   The  wages  are  higher  for 
various  skilled  laborers,  with  the  minimum  under  the  May  1989 
agreement  set  at  $2.89  per  day  for  foremen  and  hotel  chefs. 
The  private  sector  generally  has  provision  for  overtime  pay. 
These  minimum  wages  do  not  provide  for  a  decent  standard  of 
living.   However,  most  Gambians  do  not  live  on  one  worker's 
earnings  and  rely  on  the  extended  family  system,  including 
often  some  subsistence  farming. 

The  workweek  for  government  workers  is  four  8-hour  days,  with 
a  half  day  on  Friday.   Allowance  is  made  for  half-hour  lunch 
breaks.   For  the  private  sector,  there  are  four  8-hour  days 
with  half  days  on  Fridays  and  Saturdays,  making  a  40-hour 
workweek.   Government  employees  are  entitled  to  1  month's  paid 
leave  after  1  year  of  service;  private  sector  employees 
receive  15  days  of  paid  annual  leave. 

Under  the  Factory  Act,  the  Minister  of  Labor  is  given 
authority  to  regulate  factory  health  and  safety,  accident 
prevention,  and  dangerous  trades  and  to  appoint  inspectors  to 
ensure  compliance.   However,  this  system  is  less  than  fully 
satisfactory,  owing  to  the  shortage  of  inspectors.   The 
Government  announced  in  1987  that  it  would  submit  to 
Parliament  a  new  labor  code  to  replace  obsolete  labor  laws; 
and  a  new  industrial  injuries  compensation  act  to  replace  the 
existing  workmen's  compensation  act.   However,  no  action  to 
this  end  had  been  taken  by  the  end  of  1989. 


137 


QliAJaA 


Ghana  is  governed  by  the  Provisional  National  Defense  Council 
(PNDC)  under  the  chairmanship  of  Flight  Lieutenant  Jerry  John 
Rawlings,  who  seized  power  from  an  elected  government  on 
December  31,  1981,  and  abolished  the  constitution,  which  has 
not  been  replaced.   Under  the  Establishment  Proclamation  of 
January  11,  1982,  the  PNDC  exercises  "all  powers  of 
government."   In  practice,  government  policy  is  developed  by 
Chairman  Rawlings,  assisted  by  a  number  of  close  advisers, 
both  inside  and  outside  the  Government.   In  addition  to 
Chairman  Rawlings,  the  PNDC  consists  of  eight  members,  of  whom 
two  are  serving  military  officers  and  six  are  civilians.   The 
executive  consists  of  ministries  headed  by  secretaries,  most 
of  whom  are  subordinate  to  a  PNDC  member  responsible  for  that 
particular  area  of  government.   There  is  no  national 
legislature  or  lawmaking  body.   All  national,  regional,  and 
many  district  officials  are  appointed  by  the  PNDC. 

The  several  security  organizations  which  exist  in  Ghana  report 
to  various  departments  of  government,  but  all  come  under  the 
control  of  the  PNDC.   Most  security  cases  of  a  political 
nature  are  handled  by  the  Bureau  of  National  Investigation 
(BNI),  which  reports  to  the  PNDC  member  responsible  for 
security  issues. 

Starting  in  1983,  the  Government  adopted  an  Economic  Recovery 
Program  (ERP)  to  redress  a  quarter  century  of  economic 
mismanagement  and  political  instability  which  caused  Ghana  to 
decline  from  one  of  Africa's  most  promising  economies  to  near 
collapse.   Conducted  in  concert  with  the  International 
Monetary  Fund,  the  World  Bank,  and  a  consultative  group  of 
bilateral  donors,  the  recovery  program  has  had  a  positive 
impact.   While  economic  growth  has  averaged  5  percent  since 
the  inception  of  the  ERP,  and  inflation  has  fallen  far  below 
the  triple-digit  rates  of  earlier  years,  the  austerity  of  the 
recovery  program  has  been  a  heavy  burden  for  large  segments  of 
the  population. 

Although  the  Rawlings  regime  has  largely  restored  order 
following  the  18-month  period  of  revolutionary  excess  in  1982 
and  1983,  there  continue  to  be  significant  human  rights 
problems  in  Ghana.   These  include  restrictions  on  such  basic 
rights  as  freedom  of  speech,  press,  and  assembly,  the  right  of 
citizens  to  change  their  government,  and  legal  due  process. 
In  June  1989,  the  Government  established  regulations  for 
registering  all  religious  organizations;  it  "froze"  the  assets 
of  four  churches,  expelling  the  expatriate  missionaries  of  two 
of  them,  the  Jehovah's  Witnesses  and  the  Mormons.   Summary 
arrest  and  detention  were  continuing  problems  with  instances 
of  incarceration  without  formal  charges. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1  Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  or  other 
extrajudicial  killings. 

b.  Disappearance 

No  politically  motivated  disappearances  were  reported  in  1989. 


138 


QOhUA 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  have  been  occasional  credible  allegations  of  torture  and 
beatings  in  recent  years,  although  there  were  none  in  1989. 
Prisons  in  Ghana  are  antiquated  and  overcrowded;  conditions 
are  harsh.   Within  the  past  few  years,  two  American  citizens 
with  medical  problems  died  in  Ghanaian  prisons,  and  a  third 
stated  he  had  been  physically  mistreated.   The  Government  is 
aware  of  unsafe  and  overcrowded  prison  conditions  and  has 
established  a  commission  to  look  into  reform  of  the  prisons 
and  the  parole  system. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

In  routine  criminal  cases,  arrests  generally  conform  to  the 
legal  procedures  set  forth  in  the  criminal  code.   This  code 
requires  that  an  arrested  person  be  brought  before  a  court 
within  48  hours  to  be  charged.   However,  the  court  can  refuse 
to  release  a  detainee  on  bail  and  instead  remand  him  without 
charges  for  an  indefinite  period  of  time,  subject  to  weekly 
review  as  a  case  is  investigated.   Habeas  corpus  is  limited  by 
a  1984  law  which  prevents  any  court  from  inquiring  into  the 
grounds  for  the  detention  of  any  Ghanaian  under  PNDC  Law  4 
(Preventive  Custody  Law  of  1982). 

PNDC  Law  4  provides  for  indefinite  detention  without  trial  if 
the  PNDC  determines  it  is  in  the  interest  of  national 
security.   Ghanaian  security  forces  occasionally  take  persons 
into  custody,  with  or  without  a  warrant,  and  hold  them 
incommunicado  for  extended  periods  of  time,  as  in  the 
1987-1988  case  of  the  journalist  Ben  Ephson.   The  threat  of 
such  treatment  serves  as  a  deterrent  to  activities  deemed 
unacceptable  by  the  State.   PNDC  Law  4  has  been  used  against  a 
wide  variety  of  persons,  including  trade  union  officials  like 
Akwasi  Adu-Amankwah  and  student  leaders  like  Tony  Akoto-Ampaw, 
both  of  whom  were  released  in  1989. 

In  late  June,  the  PNDC  detained  without  charge  the  President 
and  the  Secretary  General  of  the  Ghana  Bar  Association  for 
more  than  a  week  after  the  Association  announced  its  intention 
to  hold  a  seminar  commemorating  the  murder  of  three  judges  by 
soldiers  in  1982,  shortly  after  Chairman  Rawlings  took  power. 
Following  a  decision  by  the  Bar  Association  to  cancel  the 
seminar,  the  President  and  Secretary  General  were  released. 
There  are  also  reliable  reports  that  Lebanese  businessmen 
suspected  of  illegal  activities  are  often  simply  arrested  and 
incarcerated  as  a  means  of  intimidating  others. 

In  recent  years,  a  number  of  American  citizens  have  been 
arrested  and  held  without  charge  for  lengthy  periods  without 
the  U.S.  Embassy  being  notified  or  provided  access  as 
stipulated  in  international  conventions  and  in  a  bilateral 
treaty.   In  1989  the  Government  seized  members  of  a  religious 
group — the  Black  Hebrews — who  are  American  citizens  and 
long-time  residents  of  Ghana.   They  were  held  several  days 
before  appropriate  officials  at  the  American  Embassy  were 
informed  of  their  imprisonment.   The  Department  of  State 
renewed  its  August  1988  travel  advisory  warning  American 
visitors  and  potential  travelers  of  continuing  problems  with 
Ghanaian  authorities. 

The  number  of  political  detainees/prisoners  at  the  end  of  1989 
was  unknown,  but  the  most  reliable  estimates  were  around  200. 
The  Government  claims  the  actual  number  is  smaller.   In 


139 


GHAM 

September  1989,  Major  Courage  Quashigah,  two  other  military 
officers  (one  of  whom  reportedly  committed  suicide  while  in 
detention),  and  two  civilians  were  arrested  for  alleged 
involvement  in  a  coup  plot.   They  had  not  been  tried  by  the  end 
of  1989. 

The  Government  does  not  practice  forced  exile.   In  1988  the 
Government  continued  quietly  to  encourage  Ghanaian  exilees  with 
valuable  skills  to  return  home,  offering  them  amnesty.   A  few 
officials  of  the  former  government  have  returned  and  resumed 
careers  outside  politics,  apparently  without  difficulties. 
Others  have  remained  abroad,  particularly  in  the  United  Kingdom 
and  other  parts  of  Western  Europe,  in  order  to  conduct  active 
opposition  to  the  PNDC  or  out  of  fear  of  political  persecution. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

There  are  two  court  systems  in  Ghana.   In  the  regular 
"prerevolutionary"  court  system,  traditional  legal  safeguards 
are  based  on  British  legal  practices.   Trials  are  public,  and 
defendants  have  a  right  to  be  present,  to  be  represented  by  an 
attorney,  and  to  present  evidence  and  cross-examine  witnesses. 
This  system  includes  high  courts,  appeal  courts,  and  a  supreme 
court  headed  by  a  chief  justice.   There  are  limitations, 
however,  to  the  independence  of  the  regular  courts.   In  April 
1986,  the  PNDC  summarily  dismissed  16  judges,  alleging  that 
they  were  guilty  of  malfeasance.   By  this  action,  the  PNDC  put 
judges  in  the  regular  courts  on  notice  that  they  serve  at  its 
sufferance.   The  independent  Ghana  Bar  Association  has  urged 
the  reestablishment  of  a  judicial  council  to  protect  judges 
from  arbitrary  dismissal  and  preserve  judicial  independence. 

A  separate  public  tribunals  system  at  the  national  and  regional 
levels  was  set  up  by  the  PNDC  in  1982  to  bypass  the  regular 
court  system  and  speed  up  the  judicial  process  by  deemphasizing 
legal  "technicalities."   This  system  includes  the  Office  of 
Revenue  Commissioners,  the  National  Investigations  Committee 
(which,  established  by  PNDC  Law  2,  has  the  power  to  investigate 
virtually  any  allegation  referred  to  it  by  the  PNDC),  the 
Special  Military  Tribunal,  and  the  Public  Tribunals  Board. 
Most  sensitive  political  cases  and  those  involving  security 
issues  and  capital  punishment  are  heard  by  public  tribunals. 
No  appeals  were  permitted  until  1985,  when  the  National  Appeals 
Tribunal  was  created. 

The  public  tribunals  depend  largely  on  judges  with  little  or  no 
legal  experience,  and  they  shortcut  legal  safeguards  and  due 
process  to  provide  "rough  and  ready"  justice.   Presiding  judges 
are  more  often  laymen  than  lawyers;  there  are  no  published 
guidelines  concerning  the  admissibility  of  evidence;  and 
conviction  is  by  majority  vote  of  the  panel  trying  a  case. 
Critics  also  contend  that  meaningful  appeals  are  impossible 
because  no  adequate  record  is  kept  of  initial  hearings  before 
tribunals.   Judges  on  the  appeals  panel  are  drawn  from  the  same 
pool  of  "lay  judges"  who  hear  initial  cases.   In  the  course  of 
a  September  conference  for  tribunal  officials,  government 
officials  proposed  the  establishment  of  regional  appeal 
tribunals  and  the  publication  of  tribunal  judgments.   The  Ghana 
Bar  Association,  citing  such  shortcomings,  has  elected  not  to 
practice  before  the  public  tribunals.   However,  a  number  of 
lawyers  have  ignored  the  Bar  Association's  decision  and  will 
defend  clients  before  the  public  tribunals. 


140 


Qh&HA 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Citizens  not  engaged  in  activity  objectionable  to  the 
Government  are  generally  free  from  interference  with  regard  to 
private  conduct,  although  some  critics  characterize  the  local 
Committees  for  the  Defense  of  the  Revolution  (CDR)  as 
"neighborhood  watch  committees."   Monitoring  of  telephones  and 
mail  occurs,  and  forced  entry  into  homes  has  been  reported  in 
connection  with  security  investigations.   The  State  supports 
family  planning,  but  there  has  been  no  interference  with  the 
right  to  marry  or  have  children  as  one  chooses. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Freedoms  of  speech  and  the  press  are  restricted.   Chairman 
Rawlings  has  frequently  encouraged  people  to  speak  out  on 
local  community  concerns,  though  not  on  government  policy. 
However,  informers  are  said  to  exist,  and  some  Ghanaians 
hesitate  to  speak  frankly  at  public  gatherings  or  to  attend 
certain  functions. 

In  September  the  Ghana  Bar  Association  was  to  host  the 
biennial  meeting  of  the  African  Bar  Association  with  the 
conference  theme  to  be  "Human  Rights  in  Africa."   The 
Government  had  been  involved  in  the  planning  for  almost  a 
year,  but,  shortly  before  the  conference  was  scheduled  to 
open,  the  Government  withdrew  its  financial  and  logistical 
support.   Faced  with  this  official  oppositon,  the  Bar 
Association  canceled  the  meeting.   The  Government  also 
confiscated  the  passport  of  the  Ghana  Bar  Association 
President  amidst  allegations  in  a  government-owned  newspaper 
that  he  had  planned  to  use  the  conference  to  destabilize  the 
Government . 

The  Government  owns  the  radio  and  television  stations  and  the 
two  principal  daily  newspapers.   Reporting  in  government-owned 
media  accentuates  positive  aspects  of  government  policies  but 
also  covers  selected  instances  of  corruption  and  mismanagement 
in  government  agencies  and  state-owned  enterprises.   In 
general,  media  criticism  of  government  policies  or  of  Chairman 
Rawlings  and  PNDC  members,  as  well  as  of  foreign  and  domestic 
policies,  is  not  tolerated.   Journalists  are  subject  to 
discipline  or  dismissal  by  the  Government  for  running  articles 
deemed  unacceptable.   The  editor  of  the  government-owned 
weekly  The  Mirror  was  dismissed  in  August  1988. 

On  occasion,  the  few  remaining  privately  owned  newspapers  have 
tried  to  be  relatively  bold  in  reporting  selected  issues, 
including  editorials  and  articles  criticizing  Ghana's  foreign 
policy  and  the  Economic  Recovery  Program  (ERP) .   However, 
several  privately  owned  newspapers  have  closed  down  in  recent 
years,  and  in  December  1985  the  Government  banned  publication 
of  the  Catholic  Standard;  it  remained  banned  in  1989,  although 
Chairman  Rawlings  has  said  publicly  that  the  ban  is  being 
reconsidered. 

A  few  foreign  periodicals  such  as  West  Africa,  Time,  and 
Newsweek  are  sold  freely  in  Accra  and  other  major  cities,  and 
even  issues  critical  of  Ghana  are  allowed  to  circulate.   Most 
Western  journalists  are  now  routinely  accorded  visas  and  press 
credentials  as  opposed  to  the  practices  of  a  few  years  ago. 


141 


GHAHA 

Academic  freedom  is  respected  within  the  confines  of  the 
campus.   The  National  Union  of  Ghanaian  Students,  one  of  the 
more  vocal  critics  of  the  PNDC,  is  tolerated  and  allowed  to 
organize  and  hold  meetings.   Several  political  organizations, 
including  the  June  Fourth  Movement  and  the  New  Democratic 
Movement  (NDM) ,  were  founded  by  faculty  and  students  at  the 
University  of  Ghana.   The  NDM  is  viewed  with  particular 
suspicion  by  the  PNDC.   Just  prior  to  examinations  in  May 
1988,  university  students  demonstrated  over  campus  issues  and 
forced  the  closing  of  all  three  universities;  they  reopened  in 
December.   During  1989  the  Government  made  a  concerted  effort 
to  improve  its  relations  with  the  university  students.   Senior 
government  officials  and  students  discussed  PNDC  programs  in  a 
serious  but  nonconf rontational  manner,  and  Chairman  Rawlings 
addressed  the  graduation  ceremonies  at  the  three  major 
institutions  without  incident. 

Critics  have  charged,  and  the  PNDC  Chairman  has  publicly 
admitted,  that  fear  of  government  reaction  has  led  to  the 
creation  of  a  "culture  of  silence"  in  Ghana.   Senior  officials 
deplore  this  and  ask  people  to  speak  out  on  issues,  but 
instances  such  as  the  detention  of  the  President  and  the 
Secretary  General  of  the  Ghana  Bar  Association  in  June 
demonstrate  that  to  do  so  can  be  dangerous  and  that  the 
boundaries  of  permissible  discussion  are  still  vague. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Freedom  of  assembly  and  association  are  also  restricted. 
Individuals  generally  are  free  to  join  together  formally  or 
informally  to  promote  benevolent  or  nonpolitical  causes,  but 
permits  are  required  for  public  meetings  or  demonstrations, 
and  these  are  seldom  granted  for  political  purposes, 
particularly  if  the  applicant's  views  are  at  odds  with  those 
of  the  Government.   Political  parties  and  political  meetings 
are  prohibited.   The  Government  barred  persons  with  close  ties 
to  the  old  parties  from  running  as  candidates  for  election  to 
the  district  assemblies. 

Ghana  has  many  private  religious,  social,  and  cultural 
organizations  which  are  allowed  to  organize  and  gather  with  a 
minimum  of  legal  or  informal  restrictions. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

There  is  no  state-favored  religion.   Ghanaians  are 
predominantly  Christian,  and  many  senior  government  officials 
are  practicing  members  of  various  Protestant  sects  or  Roman 
Catholicism,  with  no  particular  advantages  or  disadvantages 
attached  to  membership. 

PNDC  efforts  to  urge  the  major  religious  communities  to 
support  its  economic  and  social  policies  has  created  tension 
between  them  and  the  Government.   Chairman  Rawlings  publicly 
criticized  the  Roman  Catholic  Church's  prohibition  on  its 
priests  participating  in  the  district  assemblies.   The  PNDC 
has  also  been  sensitive  to  criticism  of  Ghana's  human  rights 
record  by  leaders  of  various  denominations.   Chairman  Rawlings 
has  not  renewed  his  1987  charge  that  worldwide  church  and 
Christian  organizations  may  be  havens  for  foreign  spy  networks, 

In  June  1989,  the  Government  laid  down  guidelines  for  the 
registration  of  all  religious  organizations  and  made  it  clear 


142 


GHANA 

that  any  organization  whose  actions,  it  concluded,  would  lead 
to  social  disruption  or  would  offend  the  morals  of  the  people 
would  not  be  registered,  and  thus  not  tolerated.   The 
Government  requires  full  information  about  the  property  and 
financial  assets  of  the  churches  and  makes  the  boards  of 
governors  personally  liable  for  contraventions. 

Subsequently,  the  Government  "froze"  the  assets  of  four 
churches,  two  indigenous  Christian  churches,  plus  the 
Jehovah's  Witnesses  and  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of 
Latter-Day  Saints  (Mormons) .   The  expatriate  personnel  of  the 
Jehovah's  Witnesses  and  the  Mormons  were  expelled  with  7  days' 
notice.   The  Government  alleged  that  the  Jehovah's  Witnesses 
refused  to  recognize  Ghana's  symbols  of  authority  and  that  the 
Mormons  advocated  racism.   Ghanaian  members  of  the  Mormon 
church  have  not  been  further  harassed,  but  expatriate  Mormons 
have  not  been  allowed  to  resume  their  missionary  activities  in 
Ghana.   At  present,  these  four  churches  have  not  been  allowed 
to  apply  for  registration. 

Other  foreign  missionary  groups  have  generally  operated 
throughout  the  country  with  a  minimum  of  formal  restrictions, 
but  some  foreign  missionaries  find  obtaining  visas  is  becoming 
more  difficult.   At  least  one  missionary  was  denied  entry  in 
1989  despite  possessing  a  valid  visa. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Ghanaians  and  foreigners  are  free  to  move  throughout  Ghana 
without  special  permission.   Police  checkpoints  exist 
countrywide,  allegedly  for  the  prevention  of  smuggling,  but 
are  less  obtrusive  than  in  the  1982-84  period.   Roadblocks  and 
car  searches  are  still  a  normal  part  of  nighttime  travel  in 
Accra . 

As  members  of  the  Economic  Community  of  West  African  States 
(ECOWAS),  Ghanaians  may  travel  without  visas  for  up  to  90  days 
in  member  states.   Ghanaians  are  generally  free  to  exercise 
this  right,  and  nationals  of  other  member  states  are  free  to 
travel  to  Ghana.   In  August-September  1989,  longtime  Ghanaian 
residents  of  Liberia  and  longtime  Liberian  residents  of  Ghana 
abruptly  returned  to  their  "home"  countries  amidst  press 
allegations  that  they  had  been  deported.   Both  Governments 
officially  denied  their  citizens  had  been  deported.   Ghanaians 
are  also  free  to  emigrate  or  to  be  repatriated  from  other 
countries.   If  a  person  is  considered  a  security  threat, 
special  permission  to  travel  outside  Ghana  must  be  obtained. 

There  is  no  forced  resettlement  of  populations.   The 
Government  has  not  established  policies  to  deal  with  the 
roughly  150  refugees  registered  with  the  United  Nations  High 
Commissioner  for  Refugees.   Many  unregistered  refugees  from 
the  Sahelian  drought  in  neighboring  countries  remain  in  Ghana, 
and  efforts  to  settle  or  move  these  basically  nomadic  peoples 
have  had  only  limited  success. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

There  is  no  procedure  by  which  citizens  can  freely  and 
peacefully  change  their  laws,  officials,  or  form  of 
government.   Chairman  Rawlings  and  the  PNDC  exercise  total 
executive,  legislative,  judicial,  and  administrative  power. 
The  National  Commission  for  Democracy  (NCD)  was  established  in 


143 


1984  to  design  new  "democratic"  structures  which  would  help 
establish  the  legitimacy  of  the  PNDC. 

In  December  1988,  and  in  January  and  February  1989,  the  first 
elections  of  any  kind  since  1979  were  held  in  Ghana  to 
establish  district  assemblies  in  10  regions.   An  estimated 
58.9  percent  of  the  electorate,  higher  in  the  rural  areas  than 
in  the  urban  areas,  turned  out  for  the  elections  which  were 
generally  peaceful  and  unaccompanied  by  fraud.   The  contests 
revolved  around  the  candidates'  probity  and  competence.   These 
local  assemblies  have  limited  authority,  and  the  PNDC  has 
emphasized  that  the  first  priority  of  the  assemblies  is  to 
establish  local  development  programs.   The  Government  names 
one-third  of  the  members  of  each  assembly,  which  conduct 
meetings  and  formulate  development  programs  within  guidelines 
laid  down  by  the  Regional  Coordinating  Councils  (RCC) 
established  in  August  1989.   The  RCCs  are  dominated  by 
government-appointed  officials. 

Section  4  Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

There  are  no  known  locally  organized  hiunan  .Ights  groups 
currently  dealing  wich  Ghanaian  human  rights  matters.   Several 
other  organizations — most  notably  the  Ghana  Bar 
Association — have  attempted  to  address  human  rights  ^ssues 
from  time  to  cime.   The  Gove^"nment '  s  reactions  to  Irhese 
efforts  have  ranged  rrom  indifference  to  active 
discouragement.   The  Government  does  permit  the  International 
Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  co  visit  prisons.   In  September 
1988,  Ghana  hosted  a  meeting  of  the  International  Federation 
of  Women  Lawyers,  which  addressed  human  rights  in  Ghana,  but 
in  1989  it  blocked  ihe  African  Bar  Association  meeting.   A 
representative  of  Amnesty  International  applied  to  visit  Ghana 
in  1989  but  was  denied  a  visa. 

The  Government  is  sensitive  to  charges  of  abuse  of  human 
rights  and  stoutly  dsfends  ics  practices.   The  PNDC  is 
particularly  cricical  of  charges  from  numan  rights  groups  in 
the  West  that  it  lacks  a  democratic  structure.   It  insists 
that  'participatory  democracy"  through  people "s  involvement  in 
mass  organizacions  such  as  che  Commi :  ees  for  the  Defense  of 
the  Revolution  and  the  3ist  December  Women's  Movement  has 
'grassroocs"  support  and  ts  more  broadly  democratic  than 
previous  Ghanaian  governmencs.   Ghana  is  a  .Tiember  of  the  U.N. 
Human  Sights  Commission. 

Section  5  Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Although  ethnic  dicferences  are  intentionally  downplaved  by 
the  Government,  occasional  charges  are  aired  that  the  PNDC  and 
the  political  leadership  are  dominateu  by  the  Ewe  etnair  group 
from  eastern  Ghana   Chairman  Rawlingb  and  a  number  or  his 
close  advisors  are  Ewe. 

The  Government  has  made  a  concerted  effort  to  raise  the  status 
of  women  in  Ghana.   In  1985  it  promulgated  four  laws  which 
overturned  many  of  the  customary,  tiaditional,  and  :.olonial 
laws  which  discriminated  against  women.   These  concerned 
family  accountability,  intestate  su<.;»'ession,  customa'i  divorce 
registracions ,  and  the  administration  of  estates.   Women  in 
urban  centers  and  chose  who  nave  enveied  the  inodern  sector 
encounter  little  overt  bias,  but  resistance  co  women  in 


144 


GJHAHA 

nontraditional  roles  persists.   Women  in  the  rural 
agricultural  sector  remain  subject  to  traditional  male 
dominance.   Women  do  have  a  significant  economic  role  as 
market  traders. 

violence  against  women,  including  wife  beating,  occurs,  but, 
as  there  are  no  statistics  or  studies  available,  the  extent  of 
the  problem  is  unknown.   Police  do  not  normally  intervene  in 
domestic  disputes,  and  such  cases  seldom  come  before  the 
courts.   Female  mutilation  (e.g.,  clitoridectomy)  is  practiced 
only  in  the  far  northeast  and  northwest  parts  of  the  country. 
The  Government  discourages  the  practice,  although  it  has  not 
made  it  illegal.   The  31st  December  Women's  Movement,  led  by 
Chairman  Rawlings'  wife  Nana  Komadu  Agyeman-Rawlings , 
prominently  promotes  the  economic  and  social  development  of 
women. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

The  PNDC  has  not  interfered  with  the  right  of  workers  to 
associate  in  labor  unions.   Trade  unions  in  Ghana  and  their 
activities  are  still  governed  by  the  Industrial  Relations  Act 
(IRA)  of  1958,  as  amended  in  1965  and  1972.   The  independent 
Trades  Union  Congress  (TUC) ,  established  in  1958,  represents 
organized  labor  in  Ghana.   It  consists  of  a  national 
headquarters  and  16  affiliated  unions,  representing  a  claimed 
total  membership  of  about  700,000  workers  in  skilled  and 
semiskilled  trades.   Union  members  elect  their  own  leaders, 
and  representatives  of  the  affiliated  unions  elect  the  TUC 
leadership  at  quadrennial  conferences,  the  most  recent  having 
been  in  March  1988.   The  TUC  publishes  its  own  newspaper.   It 
is  independent  of  government  subventions  and  has  publicly 
criticized  the  Government  at  times  for  its  economic  policies 
as  well  as  its  failure  adequately  to  consult  the  trade  union 
movement . 

The  right  to  strike  is  recognized  in  law  and  in  practice, 
although  the  Government  has  on  occasion  taken  strong  action  to 
end  strikes,  especially  those  which  threaten  interests  it 
perceives  as  vital.   Under  the  IRA,  the  Government  has 
established  a  system  under  which  it  seeks  first  to  conciliate, 
then  arbitrate,  disputes.   Discussions  have  been  under  way  for 
some  time  to  replace  this  system  with  labor  tribunals  to 
arbitrate  industrial  disputes  certified  as  deadlocked.   The 
Government  has  declared  that  establishment  of  labor  tribunals 
must  be  part  of  a  new,  consolidated  industrial  relations  act, 
which  cannot  be  implemented  piecemeal. 

For  several  years  the  International  Labor  Organization  (ILO) 
Committee  of  Experts  (COE)  has  criticized  various  aspects  of 
Ghanaian  legislation  pertaining  to  freedom  of  association. 
The  COE,  again  in  1989,  expressed  the  hope  that  measures  would 
be  taken  to  bring  Ghana's  laws  into  conformity  with  ILO 
Convention  87  which  Ghana  ratified  in  1967. 

The  TUC  is  affiliated  with  the  Organization  of  African  Trade 
Union  Unity  (OATUU) .   Consistent  with  OATUU  guidelines,  it 
maintains  no  other  international  affiliations,  although  it  has 
friendly  relations  with  other  international  labor 
organizations,  including  the  International  Confederation  of 
Free  Trade  Unions  and  the  Communist-controlled  World 
Federation  of  Trade  Unions. 


145 


SHAM 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

The  right  to  organize  is  generally  respected.   Civil  servants, 
however,  are  prohibited  by  law  from  joining  or  organizing  a 
trade  union.   The  TUC  is  a  large,  well-established  union 
organization  whose  membership  has  shown  little  growth  in 
recent  years.   Ghana's  trade  unions  engage  in  collective 
bargaining  for  wages  and  benefits  with  both  private  and 
state-owned  enterprises,  though  in  the  latter  category  the 
threat  of  detention  (a  common  practice  in  the  early  1980 's) 
hangs  over  union  leaders  to  force  agreement  on  issues.   At  the 
end  of  1989,  no  union  leaders  were  under  detention  for 
union-related  activities.   Akwasi  Adu-Amankwa,  a  union  leader 
detained  at  the  end  of  1988  for  activities  not  related  to  his 
union  responsibilities,  was  released  and  allowed  to  enter  a 
training  program  offered  in  the  Netherlands. 

There  are  no  functioning  export  processing  zones  in  Ghana,  and 
labor  legislation  is  applied  uniformly  throughout  the  country. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Ghanaian  law  prohibits  forced  labor,  and  it  is  not  known  to  be 
practiced.   For  a  number  of  years,  however,  the  ILO's  COE  has 
urged  the  Government  to  revise  various  legal  provisions  which 
permit  imprisonment  with  an  obligation  to  perform  labor  for 
offenses  which  are  not  countenanced  under  ILO  Convention  105, 
ratified  by  Ghana  in  1958. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

Labor  legislation  in  Ghana  sets  a  minimum  employment  age  of  15 
and  prohibits  night  uork  and  certain  types  of  hazardous  labor 
for  those  under  18.   In  practice,  child  labor  is  prevalent, 
and  young  children  of  school  age  can  often  be  found  during  the 
day  performing  menial  tasks  in  the  market  or  collecting  fares 
on  local  buses.   Enforcement  of  minimum  age  laws  is  uneven, 
especially  since  local  custom  and  economic  circumstances  favor 
children  working  to  help  their  families.   Violators  of 
regulations  prohibiting  heavy  labor  and  night  work  for 
children  are  occasionelly  punished. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Minimum  standards  for  wages  and  working  conditions  are 
established  through  a  tripartite  committee  composed  of 
representatives  of  government,  labor,  and  employees.   It 
establishes  a  minimum  wage  rate,  and  other  salaries  are 
adjusted  accordingly.   Effective  January  1987,  the  minimum 
wage  was  increased  25  percent  to  $0.50  per  working  day  at 
current  exchange  rates.   In  early  1988,  the  TUC  called  for  a 
"meaningful"  national  wage  of  not  less  than  $4.00  per  day. 
The  current  "living  wage" — consisting  of  the  actual  wage  and 
customary  benefits  such  as  transportation  and  food 
allowances — is  about  $1.00  per  working  day;  the  TUC  estimates 
the  daily  living  costs  of  a  family  of  four  at  $5.00.   Thus, 
the  existing  minimum  wage  is  insufficient  for  a  single  wage 
earner  to  support  a  family.   In  most  cases,  however, 
households  are  supported  by  multiple  wage  earners,  some  family 
farming,  and  other  family-based  commercial  activities.   An 
upward  adjustment  in  the  living  wage  may  be  a  major 
labor/management  issue  in  1990.   The  basic  workweek  in  Ghana 
is  40  hours.   Occupational  safety  and  health  regulations  are 
in  effect,  and  sanctions  are  occasionally  applied  to  violators. 


146 


GUINEA 


Guinea  has  been  ruled  by  the  military  since  1984.   Under 
President  Lansana  Conte,  the  military  governs  the  country 
through  the  Military  Committee  for  National  Recovery  (CMRN)  and 
a  joint  military  and  civilian  Council  of  Ministers.   The 
regime,  which  came  to  power  following  the  24-year  reign  of 
Sekou  Toure,  suspended  the  constitution  and  rules  through 
ordinances,  decrees,  and  decisions  issued  by  the  President  and 
various  ministers. 

Military  and  paramilitary  forces  number  about  17,000  persons 
(although  accurate  figures  are  difficult  to  obtain),  with  the 
army  alone  consisting  of  some  10,000  officers  and  soldiers. 
The  2,000-man  national  guard  (Gendarmerie  Nationale),  a  police 
force,  and  a  well-armed  presidential  guard  provide  internal 
security.   Both  the  military  and  police  have  been  involved  in 
human  rights  abuses.   In  particular,  abuses  by  police  appear  to 
have  been  a  motivating  factor  behind  the  reorganization  of  the 
security  services  in  1989,  placing  the  police  under  the 
direction  of  an  army  officer. 

Eighty  percent  of  Guinea's  population  of  7  million  is  dependent 
on  subsistence  agriculture.   Per  capita  annual  income  is 
estimated  at  barely  $300.   Mineral  resources,  mainly  bauxite, 
diamonds,  and  gold,  are  the  major  exports.   Under  President 
Conte,  Guinea's  economic  reform  program  is  attempting  to 
diversify  the  small  salaried  work  force,  primarily  through  the 
creation  of  producers'  associations  and  cooperatives  and  the 
promotion  of  foreign  investment.   However,  efforts  to  reduce 
the  size  of  the  civil  service,  the  largest  employer,  have  left 
recent  university  graduates  without  jobs  in  the  public  sector, 
a  sinecure  under  the  old  regime.   Increasing  unemployment  in 
1989  was  a  source  of  growing  government  concern. 

The  human  rights  situation  has  improved  markedly  since  the 
Sekou  Toure  years;  however,  human  rights  in  Guinea  in  1989 
remained  circumscribed  despite  frequent  government  declarations 
of  an  increased  dedication  to  human  rights.   Major  concerns 
were  the  failure  of  the  military  Government  to  control  abuses 
by  often  poorly  disciplined  security  forces,  including  killings 
and  beatings;  the  Government's  silence  on  the  fate  of  prisoners 
still  unaccounted  for  following  a  1985  coup  attempt;  and  the 
Government's  restrictions  on  freedoms  of  speech  and  press, 
assembly  and  association,  and  the  right  of  citizens  to  change 
their  government  through  democratic  means.   Women's  rights  are 
restricted  in  several  important  areas.   Acknowledging  these 
concerns,  especially  those  in  the  political  sphere,  the 
Government  has  widely  publicized  the  promulgation  of  a  new 
constitution,  scheduled  for  December  1990.   President  Conte 
announced  that  this  document  would  provide  for  an  interim 
5-year  period  of  mixed  military/civilian  stewardship  leading  to 
a  multiparty,  parliamentary  system  of  government,  headed  by  an 
elected  president,  with  strict  separation  of  powers.   A 
drafting  committee  of  50  drawn  from  all  sectors  of  educated 
Guinean  society,  is  currently  drawing  up  a  new  constitution. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  killings  in 
Guinea  in  1989.   However,  in  October  the  police  in  Labe  beat  to 


147 


GUINEA 

death  a  young  man  who  had  been  arrested  on  a  minor  charge. 
When  a  group  protesting  the  incident  marched  on  the  police 
station  and  attacked  it,  the  military  was  called  in. 
Ultimately  soldiers  fired  into  the  crowd,  killing  6  persons  and 
injuring  18.   A  government  minister  investigated  the  incident, 
and  subsequently  the  Government  ordered  the  arrest  of  police 
officers  responsible  for  the  young  man's  death.   At  the  end  of 
1989  no  formal  proceedings  had  been  launched. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  disappearances 
in  1989.   However,  there  is  still  uncertainty  about  the  fate  of 
a  number  of  military  officers,  mainly  from  the  Malinke  ethnic 
group,  who  disappeared  after  their  arrest  following  the  1985 
coup  attempt  (see  also  Section  I.e.). 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  military  Government  continued  in  1989  to  denounce  the  human 
rights  atrocities  of  the  former  Toure  dictatorship  and  publicly 
seeks  to  enforce  provisions  of  the  1965  penal  code  which  forbid 
torture  and  abuse  of  authority.   However,  mistreatment  of 
detainees  continues;  the  police  and  soldiers  are  widely 
perceived  by  the  public  as  using  excess  force,  frequently 
involving  severe  beatings  as  in  the  Labe  incident.   Amnesty 
International's  (AI)  1989  report  noted  that  several  students, 
while  in  police  custody  in  1988,  had  been  beaten  and  subjected 
to  mock  executions. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

A  suspected  criminal  can  be  detained  incommunicado  by  the 
arresting  authority  during  preliminary  investigation  and  has 
the  right  to  counsel  only  after  appearing  before  a  judge.   Such 
detention  is  limited  to  48  hours,  or  96  hours  if  an  extension 
is  granted  by  a  tribunal.   A  system  of  bail  for  those  accused 
of  less  serious  crimes,  as  defined  by  the  presiding  judge,  is 
available  at  the  judge's  discretion.   In  practice,  despite 
presidential  admonitions  and  campaigns  in  the  government -owned 
media  against  corruption  and  harassment  of  citizens, 
paramilitary  elements  use  arbitrary  detention  as  a  means  of 
extortion.   Political  detainees,  such  as  those  held  after  the 
1985  coup  attempt,  are  often  held  incommunicado  and  without 
charge  for  extended  periods  of  time. 

The  Government  has  encouraged  Guinean  expatriates,  including 
former  exiles  of  the  Sekou  Toure  regime,  to  return  home,  but 
few  have  chosen  to  do  so.   Significant  numbers  of  Guineans  live 
in  neighboring  African  countries  and  in  France. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  Guinean  penal  code  provides  for  the  presumption  of 
innocence  of  accused  persons,  the  independence  of  judges,  the 
equality  of  citizens  before  the  law,  the  right  of  accused  to 
counsel,  and  the  right  to  appeal  a  judicial  decision.   The 
judiciary  includes  courts  of  first  instance  (for  justices  of 
the  peace  at  the  local  level)  and  two  Courts  of  Appeal  (one  in 
Kankan,  one  in  Conakry) .   The  Court  of  Annulment  is  the  Guinean 


148 


GUINEA 

court  of  last  appeal.   A  special  Court  of  State  Security  was 
created  in  1985  to  try  those  allegedly  involved  in  the  July 
coup  attempt,  but  it  did  not  meet  in  1989. 

According  to  ordinances  issued  in  1988,  the  Military  Court 
prepares  and  adjudicates  charges  against  accused  military 
personnel,  but  to  ensure  equality  before  the  law,  all  judgments 
regarding  violations  under  the  penal  code  are  rendered  by  civil 
courts.   Trials  are  public.   Those  accused  of  major  crimes  have 
the  right  to  an  attorney;  those  accused  of  less  serious  crimes 
must  pay  for  legal  counsel. 

There  is  a  traditional  system  of  justice  at  the  village  or 
urban  neighborhood  level  where  litigants  present  their  civil 
case  before  a  village  chief,  neighborhood  chief,  or  council  of 
wise  men  for  judgment.   Justice  is  not  enforced  uniformly.   For 
example,  burglars  caught  in  urban  areas  are  sometimes  beaten  to 
death  by  victims  and  their  neighbors  with  the  tacit  approval  of 
police  authorities.   Authorities  have  publicly  condemned  such 
summary  justice. 

Human  rights  organizations  have  continued  to  criticize  the 
Government's  secretive  handling  of  those  tried  by  the  State 
Security  Court  and  the  Military  Court  for  alleged  involvement 
either  with  the  former  Toure  regime  or  the  July  1985  coup 
attempt.   Much  of  the  information  concerning  trial  procedures 
of  these  Courts  was  never  made  available,  and  the  trials  were 
widely  perceived  as  unfair.   Despite  presidential  amnesties  on 
December  31,  1987,  and  on  October  2,  1988,  which  released  106 
persons  (including  79  military  personnel),  the  fate  of  many 
others  remained  unknown  at  the  end  of  1989.   It  was  widely 
believed  that  many  of  the  announced  death  sentences  had  been 
summarily  carried  out  shortly  after  the  suspects  were  arrested 
in  1985.   Guinean  officials  have  informed  diplomatic  and 
international  human  rights  observers  that  there  are  no  longer 
any  political  detainees  or  prisoners  held  in  Guinea,  implying 
that  all  those  imprisoned  for  their  connection  with  the  1985 
coup  have  been  released. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  Government  stresses  traditional  family  values  and  the 
inviolability  of  the  home.   In  general,  the  military  Government 
is  less  willing  than  the  previous  regime  to  abuse  police 
powers,  although  unwarranted  interferences  in  citizens'  lives 
continues,  mainly  through  individual  police  harassment. 
Security  officials  are  known  to  monitor  mail  and  telephone 
calls . 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Government  has  publicly  stated  that  it  supports  free  speech 
and  press.   However,  citizens  do  not  generally  feel  free  to 
express  public  criticism  of  the  Government,  although  criticism 
of  government  officials  is  heard  in  private  discussions. 

The  Government  owns  and  operates  the  news  media,  and  reporters 
(who  are  government  employees)  practice  self-censorship.   In 
1989  investigative  reporting  focused  on  social  ills  and 
unscrupulous  commercial  practices  (a  favorite  target  of 
official  criticism),  but  no  criticism  of  the  senior  levels  of 


149 


GUINEA 

government  or  established  policies  was  aired.   The  Ministry  of 
Information,  Culture  and  Tourism  continues  to  act  both  as 
administrator  and  censor  of  media  services. 

Publications  which  incite  crime  or  are  contrary  to  good  morals 
are  prohibited,  as  are  insult,  defamation,  and  libel.   Some 
groups — operating  for  the  most  part  abroad — have  expressed 
criticism  in  clandestine  tracts.   Many  foreign  publications 
circulate  freely  in  Guinea,  including  some  critical  of  the 
Government,  and  no  attempt  is  made  to  interfere  with  foreign 
radio  broadcasts. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Public  gatherings  can  take  place  only  with  the  approval  of  the 
Government.   The  Guinean  penal  code  bans  any  meeting  which  has 
an  ethnic  or  racial  character  or  any  gathering  "whose  nature 
threatens  national  unity."   Opposition  groups  are  not 
permitted.   The  Government  does  encourage  the  formation  of 
nonpolitical  professional  organizations,  and  their  numbers 
continue  to  increase. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Guineans  generally  enjoy  religious  freedom  and  tolerance  for 
the  larger  religious  groups.   Although  an  estimated  85  percent 
of  the  population  is  nominally  Muslim,  there  is  no  official 
state  religion.   The  Government  observes  both  major  Christian 
and  Muslim  holidays.   The  Government  and  the  quasi- 
governmental  National  Islamic  League  (LIN)  have  spoken  out 
against  the  "proliferation  of  pseudo-sects  (within  Guinean 
Islam)  generating  confusion  and  deviation."   The  President  has 
declared  that  the  LIN  is  the  only  organization  with 
responsibility  for  coordinating  the  observance  of  Islam  in 
Guinea.   Foreign  missionaries,  both  Catholic  and  Protestant, 
operate  freely  in  Guinea. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  Government  restricts  the  freedom  of  movement  of  individual 
citizens  for  political  reasons.   For  example,  the  67  persons 
granted  amnesty  at  the  end  of  1987  were  restricted  to  their 
area  of  origin  following  their  release  from  prison.   That 
restriction  has  gradually  been  relaxed  in  many  cases  and  left 
to  the  discretion  of  local  prefects  (governors). 

Most  Guineans,  however,  are  free  to  move  about  the  country  and 
to  change  their  place  of  residence  and  work,  although  in 
practice  they  face  harassment  by  police  and  military 
roadblocks,  particularly  at  night.   It  is  common  for  individual 
citizens  to  pay  bribes  to  avoid  police  harassment.   Foreign 
travel,  strictly  curtailed  under  Sekou  Toure,  is  now  permitted. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  are  unable  to  change  their  government  through 
democratic  procedures.   The  military  Government  suspended  the 
constitution  and  banned  political  parties  and  formal  political 
activity  when  it  took  power  in  April  1984.   The  Government 


150 


QUUSEA 

delayed  its  previously  announced  intention  to  introduce  a  new 
constitution  in  1989.   Rather,  President  Conte  announced  in 
October  that  there  would  be  an  interim  5-year  period  of  mixed 
military/civilian  stewardship  leading  eventually  to  a 
multiparty,  parliamentary  system  of  government,  headed  by  a 
president,  with  strict  separation  of  powers.   At  the  end  of 
1989,  the  interim  changes  in  government  had  not  been  introduced 
or  a  timetable  announced. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

Senior  government  officials  received  representatives  of  the 
International  Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  concerning 
humanitarian  issues,  including  possible  prison  visits.   There 
are  no  local  organizations  reporting  on  human  rights  issues  in 
Guinea . 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

While  racial  or  ethnic  discrimination  is  prohibited  by  the 
penal  code,  ethnic  identification  is  still  very  strong  in 
Guinea,  and  mutual  suspicion  affects  relations  across  ethnic 
lines  within  and  outside  the  Government.   Official  government 
policy  is  to  include  representatives  of  all  major  ethnic  groups 
in  the  Government,  but  the  Soussou  ethnic  group,  to  which 
President  Conte  belongs,  tends  to  predominate  at  the  highest, 
most  influential  levels.   A  disproportionate  number  of  police 
are  Malinke,  former  President  Toure's  ethnic  group. 
Clandestinely  circulated  opposition  tracts  frequently  play  on 
ethnic  tensions  to  stir  resentment  against  the  Government.   As 
noted,  many  of  those  that  "disappeared"  after  the  1985  coup 
came  from  the  Malinke  ethnic  group. 

In  rural  Guinea,  opportunities  for  women  are  limited  by  custom 
and  the  traditional  demands  of  subsistence  farming.   The 
Government  has  affirmed  the  principle  of  equal  pay  for  equal 
work,  but  in  practice  women  receive  less  pay  than  men  in  most 
jobs . 

Violence  against  women,  mainly  wife  beating,  is  prohibited 
under  criminal  law  and  is  a  ground  for  divorce  under  civil 
law.   Police  rarely  intervene  in  domestic  disputes,  and 
prosecution  of  wife  beaters  is  unusual  but  has  occurred. 
Health  workers  in  Guinea  state  that  wife  beating  exists,  but 
they  differ  in  their  opinions  on  the  extent  of  the  problem  and 
its  severity.   The  issue  has  not  received  significant  publicity 
or  government  attention. 

Female  genital  mutilation  (circumcision)  is  practiced  among  all 
religious  groups  in  Guinea:   Muslims,  Christians,  and  animists. 
According  to  Western  health  workers,  the  practice  is  nearly 
universal  among  Guineans.   Grandmothers  will  frequently  see  to 
the  circumcision  of  a  granddaughter  even  when  the  parents  are 
opposed.   The  most  dangerous  form  of  circumcision, 
inf ibulation,  is  not  practiced. 


151 

GUINEA 
Section  6   Worker  Rights 

a.  The  Right  of  Association 

Guinea's  new  labor  code,  drafted  with  the  assistance  of  the 
International  Labor  Organization  (ILO)  and  promulgated  in 
January  1988,  states  that  all  workers  have  the  right  to  create 
and  participate  in  organizations  that  defend  and  develop  their 
individual  and  collective  rights  as  workers.   The  code  also 
provides  that  workers  have  the  right  not  to  be  a  member  of  such 
organizations.   Further,  it  stipulates  that  a  union  must  be 
independent  of  political  parties  to  be  recognized  as 
representative  of  workers.   The  code  requires  elected  worker 
representatives  for  any  enterprise  employing  25  salaried 
workers.   The  code  also  grants  salaried  workers  the  right  to 
strike  10  days  after  their  representative  union  makes  known 
their  intention  to  strike. 

In  practice,  most  salaried  Guineans — many  of  whom  are  civil 
servants — are  affiliated  with  the  country's  sole  trade  union 
central,  the  Guinean  National  Labor  Confederation  (CNTG) ,  which 
has  close  ties  to  the  Government.   Private  sector  workers  may 
strike  only  with  the  permission  of  the  CNTG  board,  a 
requirement  which  reduces  the  likelihood  of  strikes.   In  March 
taxicab  drivers  in  Conakry  participated  in  a  1  to  2  day  strike, 
protesting  police  harassment  and  increased  insurance  and 
gasoline  rates.   According  to  reports,  police  arrested  and 
detained  briefly  over  50  rock-throwing  drivers.   Police  held 
the  strike  leader  for  several  days.   In  the  past,  the 
Government  has  dealt  sternly  with  wildcat  strikers,  including 
banning  those  in  the  public  sector  from  further  government 
employment.   The  CNTG  is  affiliated  with  the  Organization  of 
African  Trade  Union  Unity. 

The  ILO  Committee  of  Experts  (COE)  has  commended  the  Government 
for  its  new  labor  code  but  also  noted  that  some  question  still 
remains  regarding  legislative  provisions  that  provide  for  the 
establishment  of  compulsory  arbitration.   In  its  1989  report 
the  COE  commended  a  revision  of  the  code  limiting  the 
Government's  power  to  refer  a  dispute  to  compulsory  arbitration 
to  cases  involving  "essential  services"  and  "national  crisis." 
However,  the  COE  observed  that  the  statute  still  permits  either 
party  to  invoke  compulsory  arbitration,  a  practice  that  could 
limit  the  right  to  strike,  according  to  the  Committee. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Under  the  new  code,  representative  workers'  unions  or  union 
groups  can  organize  in  the  workplace  and  negotiate  with 
employers  or  employer  unions.   Union  delegates  are  to  represent 
individual  and  collective  claims  and  grievances  before  the 
employer.   Work  rules  and  work  hours  established  by  the 
employer  are  to  be  developed  in  consultation  with  union 
delegates.   Individual  workers  threatened  with  dismissal  or 
other  sanctions  have  the  right  to  a  hearing  before  the  employer 
with  a  union  representative  present.   Employers  must  give 
advance  notice  of  any  plan  to  reduce  the  size  of  their  work 
force  for  economic  reasons. 

In  practice,  CNTG  representatives  take  the  lead  in  labor/ 
management  talks.   Collective  bargaining  has  taken  place,  most 
notably  in  1986  when  the  CNTG  concluded  an  agreement  with  the 
mining  companies,  and  again  in  1988  when  bank  employees 
collectively  bargained  for  substantially  higher  salaries. 


24-900  O— 90- 


152 


Labor  legislation  is  applied  uniformly  throughout  the  country. 
There  are  no  export  processing  zones. 

The  above  cited  COE  1989  report  commended  the  Government  for 
removing  a  provision  of  the  law  restricting  the  right  to  hold 
union  offices  to  Guinean  nationals. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Forced  or  compulsory  labor  is  not  practiced  in  Guinea,  and 
article  2  of  the  labor  code  specifically  forbids  it.   The  COE 
has  noted  the  Government's  stated  intention  to  revise  or  repeal 
various  obsolete  laws  to  bring  them  into  compliance  with  ILO 
conventions  on  forced  labor. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  minimum  age  for  employment  in  practice  as  well  as  in  the 
new  code  is  16  years  of  age.   Apprentices,  however,  may  be  as 
young  as  14  years  old.   Workers  and  apprentices  below  age  18 
are  not  permitted  to  work  at  night  or  more  than  12  consecutive 
hours  or  on  Sundays.   According  to  the  labor  code,  the  Minister 
of  Labor  must  maintain  a  list  of  occupations  in  which  women  and 
youth  under  age  18  may  not  be  employed.   Enforcement  of  these 
provisions  outside  of  the  modern  sector  of  the  economy, 
however,  tends  to  be  erratic,  particularly  in  rural  areas  where 
children  of  all  ages  work  on  family  farms. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

The  Government  has  not  yet  enacted  minimum  wage  legislation, 
but  the  labor  code  provides  for  the  eventual  establishment  by 
decree  of  a  guaranteed  minimum  hourly  wage.   There  are  also 
provisions  for  overtime  and  night  wage  rates  which  are  fixed 
percentages  of  the  regular  wage.   Wages  currently  paid  the 
average  worker  in  the  public  sector  are  generally  not 
sufficient  to  provide  a  decent  standard  of  living.   According 
to  the  code,  regular  work  is  not  to  exceed  10-hour  days  or 
48-hour  weeks,  with  a  40-hour  workweek  being  the  norm.   The 
minimum  weekly  day  of  rest  must  be  24  consecutive  hours, 
usually  on  Sunday.   Every  salaried  worker  has  the  right  to  an 
annual  paid  holiday  accumulated  at  the  rate  of  at  least  2.5 
workdays  per  month  of  service.   Several  articles  of  the  code 
provide  for  safe  working  conditions  and  the  continued  good 
health  of  workers.   These  as  yet  represent  the  goal  rather  than 
the  practice. 


153 


GUINEA-BISSAU 


The  Republic  of  Guinea-Bissau  is  a  one-party  state  with  former 
or  present  military  leaders  in  key  positions.   General  Joao 
Bernardo  Vieira  serves  as  President  of  the  Council  of  State 
and  Head  of  State,  Commander-in-Chief,  and  General  Secretary 
of  Guinea-Bissau's  sole  political  party,  the  African  Party  for 
the  Independence  of  Guinea-Bissau  and  Cape  Verde  (PAIGC) .   In 
elections  held  in  June  1989,  Vieira,  the  only  candidate,  was 
elected  for  a  second  5-year  term  as  President.   According  to 
the  1984  Constitution,  the  National  Assembly  decides 
fundamental  questions  of  internal  and  external  policy,  but 
effective  power  and  day-to-day  decisions  rest  in  the  hands  of 
the  President  and  the  Council  of  State.   Although  the 
President  is  the  most  powerful  Member  of  the  Council, 
decisionmaking  is  collegial.   The  party  selects  all  candidates 
for  office. 

The  Armed  Forces  (FARP)  are  responsible  for  state  security, 
both  external  and  internal.   FARP  leaders  are  usually  members 
of  the  PAIGC  and  often  hold  key  positions  in  the  Political 
Bureau  or  Central  Committee.   Security  forces  are  under  the 
full  control  of  the  Government.   Persons  accused  of  political 
crimes  are  tried  by  military  tribunals. 

Guinea-Bissau  remains  one  of  the  least  developed  nations,  and 
most  of  the  974,000  population  is  engaged  in  subsistence 
agriculture.   The  Government's  postindependence  efforts  to 
exercise  central  control  over  the  economy  failed  to  stimulate 
agricultural  production  and  resulted  in  chronic  shortages  of 
most  basic  commodities,  inefficient  state-owned  enterprises, 
high  unemployment,  and  a  weak  national  currency.   Beginning  in 
late  1986,  the  Government  launched  a  series  of  reforms  to 
promote  long-term  economic  growth  by  shifting  from  a  state-run 
centralized  economy  to  a  free-market  system.   While  the 
reforms  spurred  private  commercial  activity  and  improved 
agricultural  production,  in  1989  inflation  remained  high,  and 
urban  residents  continued  to  witness  a  drop  in  their  standard 
of  living. 

The  Government  marked  the  40th  anniversary  of  the  Universal 
Declaration  of  Human  Rights  by  granting  amnesty  on  December 
13,  1988,  to  four  prisoners  imprisoned  for  involvement  in  a 
1985  coup  plot.   However,  most  human  rights  remained  tightly 
restricted.   Major  human  rights  problems  were  abuse  of 
detainees  in  security  cases,  arbitrary  arrest,  lack  of  fair 
trial,  and  limits  on  freedoms  of  association,  speech,  and 
press,  the  right  of  citizens  to  change  their  government,  and 
worker  rights. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  premeditated  politically  motivated 
killing.   (Also  see  Section  I.e.) 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  known  cases  of  disappearance. 


154 


GUINEA-BISSAU 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  Constitution  prohibits  cruel  and  inhuman  punishment. 
However,  security  authorities  employ  severe  interrogation 
methods,  especially  severe  beatings.   Amnesty  International 
(AI)  stressed  in  its  1989  Report  (covering  1988)  that  it 
continued  to  receive  allegations  of  the  use  of  torture  in 
security  cases  and  deaths  in  custody  due  to  mistreatment, 
noting  in  particular  the  detention  center  ("COP-2")  in 
Bissau.   AI  asked  the  Government  in  1987  to  establish  an 
independent  commission  of  inquiry  into  these  and  other 
allegations,  but  the  Government  never  responded. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Arrests  in  Guinea-Bissau  are  frequently  arbitrary,  as  arrest 
procedures  are  undefined,  and  the  use  of  arrest  warrants  is 
the  exception  rather  than  the  rule.   The  legal  system, 
inherited  from  the  Portuguese  but  modified  by  the 
Constitution,  includes  important  procedural  rights,  such  as 
the  right  to  counsel  and  the  right  to  a  judicial  determination 
of  the  legality  of  detention  (habeas  corpus).   Bail  procedures 
are  observed  erratically. 

The  Government  has  held  persons  without  charge  or  trial, 
sometimes  for  extended  periods  of  time,  including  in 
incommunicado  detention.   The  number  of  political  detainees 
held  at  the  end  of  1989,  if  any,  was  unknown.   The  Government 
has  the  legal  right  to  exile  prisoners  but  has  not  done  so  in 
recent  years. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Traditional  law  still  prevails  in  most  rural  areas,  and  many 
urban  dwellers  continue  to  bring  judicial  disputes  to 
recognized  traditional  counselors.   Several  traditional 
counselors  from  a  village  in  the  Farim  sector  were  reportedly 
arrested  in  1989  for  their  role  in  punishing,  by  death,  two 
persons  accused  of  witchcraft. 

With  some  exceptions,  the  official  judicial  system  is  based  on 
the  Portuguese  model.   Intervals  between  arrest  and  trial  are 
often  lengthy.   All  defense  lawyers  are  court  appointed,  as 
private  legal  practice  is  prohibited.   The  judiciary  is  a  part 
of  the  executive  branch.   Trials  involving  state  security 
usually  are  not  open  to  outside  observers  and  are  conducted  by 
military  tribunals.   FARP  members  are  tried  by  military  courts 
for  all  offenses.   The  Supreme  Court  is  the  final  court  of 
appeal  for  both  civilian  and  military  cases,  except  those 
involving  national  security  matters.   In  this  instance  the 
Council  of  State  reviews  all  decisions. 

The  number  of  political  prisoners  at  the  end  of  1989  was 
unknown.   However,  approximately  one-half  of  those  convicted 
in  treason  trials  in  1986  have  been  released  upon  the 
completion  of  their  sentences  or  upon  grants  of  amnesty.   The 
remaining  prisoners,  some  of  whom  have  been  voluntarily  joined 
by  their  families,  are  confined  to  islands  in  the  Bijagos 
Archipelago.   In  1988  the  Government  released  Raphael  Barbosa, 
cofounder  of  the  PAIGC,  from  a  prison  camp  on  the  island  of 
Formosa . 


155 


GUINEA-BISSAU 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Constitutional  guarantees  of  the  inviolability  of  domicile, 
person,  and  correspondence  are  not  always  respected  in  cases 
of  serious  crimes  or  state  security.   International  and 
domestic  mail  is  subject  to  surveillance  and  censorship. 
Membership  in  the  PAIGC  is  not  forced,  although  individuals 
with  political  aspirations  realize  the  importance  of  belonging 
to  Guinea-Bissau's  sole  political  party. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  intellectual, 
artistic,  and  scientific  expression,  with  the  significant 
exception  of  cases  in  which  these  rights  are  exercised  in  a 
manner  "contrary  to  the  promotion  of  social  progress."   In 
fact,  these  freedoms  are  restricted.   The  Government  controls 
all  information  media  and  views  the  press  as  a  vehicle  of  the 
party.   Journalists  are  government  employees  and  must  practice 
self-censorship  to  maintain  their  positions.   The  media  are 
permitted  to  criticize  and  question  some  policies,  although 
they  may  not  criticize  individual  officials. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  assembly  and 
association,  and  government  approval  is  not  required  for 
peaceful,  nonpolitical  assemblies  and  demonstrations. 
However,  all  existing  organizations  are  linked  to  the 
Government  or  the  party,  including  the  sole  labor  union,  the 
National  Union  of  the  Workers  of  Guinea-Bissau. 
Antigovernment  meetings  are  not  tolerated. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Religious  freedom  is  provided  for  in  the  Constitution  and  has 
been  respected  in  practice.   Christians,  Muslims,  and  animists 
worship  freely,  and  proselytizing  is  permitted.   However, 
religious  groups  must  be  licensed  by  the  Government.   In  1989 
there  were  no  reports  of  groups  being  refused  licenses. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Citizens  are  allowed  to  move  freely  throughout  Guinea-Bissau. 
Foreign  travel  is  not  restricted,  nor  is  citizenship  revoked 
for  political  reasons.   Thousands  of  persons  have  emigrated 
for  economic  reasons.   The  return  of  expatriates  is 
encouraged,  although  the  death  in  1986  of  one  opposition 
member  in  a  car  accident  during  a  forced  repatriation  from 
Senegal  convinced  some  government  opponents  that  they  would 
not  be  welcomed  back  to  Guinea-Bissau.   In  May  1989,  several 
hundred  Mauritanian  refugees  fleeing  ethnic  violence  in 
Senegal  entered  Guinea-Bissau.   Most  of  the  refugees  were 
quickly  repatriated  to  Mauritania,  but  some  remained  in 
Guinea-Bissau  and  were  integrated  into  the  Mauritanian 
community  residing  in  Guinea-Bissau.   While  sympathetic  to  the 
principle  of  asylum,  Guinea-Bissau  does  not  host  significant 
numbers  of  refugees. 


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Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  o£  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  do  not  have  the  right  or  the  ability  peacefully  and 
legally  to  change  the  government  or  the  form  of  government. 
Guinea-Bissau  is  led  by  the  PAIGC  Party  and  military  elite, 
headed  by  President  Joao  Bernardo  Vieira.   By  the  terms  of  the 
1984  Constitution,  all  political  activity  takes  place  within 
the  party/state  structure.   The  1989  electoral  slates  for  the 
National  Popular  Assembly  at  the  district,  regional,  and 
national  levels  were  party-approved  lists,  although  not  all 
candidates  were  members  of  the  PAIGC.   Affirmative  or  negative 
votes  on  the  proposed  slates  were  cast  by  secret  ballot.   The 
President,  members  of  the  Council  of  State,  and  deputies  of 
the  National  Popular  Assembly  are  elected  to  5-year  terms. 
There  are  provisions  for  constitutional  amendments  and 
national  referendums  initiated  by  the  National  Popular 
Assembly,  but  the  Assembly  has  never  taken  such  initiatives, 
and  it  meets  infrequently.   No  single  ethnic  group  dominates 
party/government  positions,  but  Papel  and  Creole  (mixed-race) 
groups,  predominantly  located  in  and  around  the  capital  of 
Bissau,  are  disproportionately  represented  in  the  Government. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

Although  international  human  rights  groups  have  visited 
Guinea-Bissau,  these  visits  have  been  tightly  controlled.   An 
AI  mission  held  discussions  in  June  1986  with  President  Vieira 
and  other  key  officials  and  attended  one  session  of  the 
treason  trial.   However,  the  Government  has  not  responded  to 
AI ' s  1987  request  that  an  independent  commission  examine 
various  human  rights  issues.   There  are  no  local  human  rights 
groups  in  Guinea-Bissau. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  population  of  Guinea-Bissau  is  composed  of  diverse  tribal 
groups,  each  with  its  own  language,  customs,  and  social 
organization.   The  Balanta,  Fula,  Mandinka,  Manjaco,  and  Papel 
are  important  groups.   Creoles  enjoy  an  advantageous  position 
within  the  society  due  to  their  generally  higher  level  of 
education  and  their  links  abroad.   Although  the  President  and 
other  influential  leaders  regularly  urge  the  nation  to 
overcome  ethnic  differences,  the  economic  dominance  of  Creoles 
(and  to  a  lesser  extent  Mandinkas  and  Fulas)  has  created 
resentment  among  other  ethnic  communities.   Most  of  the 
defendants  in  the  1986  coup  trial  were  members  of  the  Balanta, 
the  largest  ethnic  group  (30  percent) . 

While  officially  prohibited,  discrimination  against  women 
persists  within  certain  ethnic  groups,  especially  the  Muslim 
Fulas  and  Mandinkas  of  the  north  and  east.   The  practice  of 
female  circumcision  is  still  widespread  among  these  groups 
despite  official  prohibition  and  educational  campaigns  against 
this  custom.   Women  enjoy  higher  status  in  the  societies  of 
the  Balanta,  Papel,  and  Bijagos  groups  living  mainly  in  the 
southern  coastal  region.   Physical  violence  as  a  means   of 
settling  domestic  disputes  occurs  among  all  ethnic  groups. 
While  police  will  intervene  in  domestic  disputes  if  requested, 
the  Government  has  not  undertaken  specific  measures  to  raise 
the  public  consciousness  of  women  or  to  reduce  violence 
against  them. 


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Section  6   Worker  Rights 

a.  The  Right  of  Association 

Approximately  one-half  of  the  population  of  Guinea-Bissau  is 
of  working  age.   While  the  Constitution  provides  for  freedom 
of  association,  only  one  labor  union,  the  National  Union  of 
the  Workers  of  Guinea-Bissau  (UNTG) ,  exists  in  Guinea-Bissau. 
With  strong  ties  to  the  PAIGC,  the  UNTG  more  closely  resembles 
a  mass  party  organization  than  an  independent  union.   The  UNTG 
is  neither  aggressive  nor  effective  in  promoting  worker 
rights.   While  not  specifically  forbidden,  strikes  do  not 
occur.   Since  the  Government's  use  of  force  to  disperse 
students  attempting  to  strike  in  1981,  the  public's  perception 
has  been  that  strikes,  like  antigovernment  meetings,  would  not 
be  tolerated.   The  UNTG  is  affiliated  with  the 
Communist-controlled  World  Federation  of  Trade  Unions  and  is  a 
member  of  the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Of  the  estimated  28,000  salaried  workers  in  the  country, 
approximately  50  percent  are  employees  of  the  Government. 
Guinea-Bissau's  small  manufacturing  sector  employs  fewer  than 
5,000  persons.   The  scarcity  of  salaried  jobs  has  forced 
employees  to  focus  on  obtaining  and  keeping  employment  rather 
than  on  organizing  and  bargaining.   Public  employees  are 
permitted  to  join  the  UNTG,  but  the  union's  activities  have 
not  emphasized  organizing  employees  (whether  private  or 
public)  for  the  purpose  of  collective  bargaining.   The 
Constitution  does  not  provide  and  protect  the  right  to 
organize  and  bargain  collectively,  but  the  General  Labor  Law 
of  1986  contains  limited  provisions  addressing  collective 
bargaining.   In  practice,  from  the  worker's  perspective,  the 
right  is  neither  protected  nor  practiced. 

While  expressing  satisfaction  with  various  provisions  of  the 
1986  labor  law,  the  International  Labor  Organization  (ILO) 
Committee  of  Experts  noted  in  both  1987  abd  1988  that  the 
Government's  provision  for  the  protection  of  workers  against 
antiunion  discrimination  does  not  appear  to  be  accompanied  by 
penal  sanctions  against  employers  and  that  the  General  Labor 
Act  is  not  applicable  to  workers  in  the  public  service.   The 
Committee  pointed  out  that  public  servants  who  are  not  engaged 
in  the  administration  of  the  State  should  be  able  to  enjoy  the 
right  of  collective  bargaining.   There  are  no  export 
processing  zones  in  Guinea-Bissau,  and  labor  laws  are 
applicable  throughout  the  country. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Forced  or  compulsory  labor  is  not  permitted  by  law  and  is  not 
known  to  exist.   There  are  no  penal  sanctions  for  offenders, 
however,  and  the  Government  lacks  the  means  to  provide 
adequate  labor  inspections. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  General  Labor  Act  of  1986  established  a  minimum  age  of  14 
for  general  factory  labor  and  of  18  for  heavy  or  dangerous 
labor,  including  all  labor  in  mines.   In  an  overwhelmingly 
rural  and  agricultural  society,  the  traditional  division  of 
labor  practices  both  between  sexes  and  age  groups  continues  to 
prevail.   Children  in  rural  communities  do  domestic  and  field 
work  for  no  pay.   The  Government  does  not  attempt  to 


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discourage  this  practice  and,  in  fact,  delays  the  opening  of 
schools  until  the  rice  season  has  ended. 

e.   Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Even  in  the  small  wage  sector,  labor  laws  are  unevenly- 
enforced  due  primarily  to  the  extreme  economic 
underdevelopment  of  the  country  and  the  vagaries  of  the  legal 
system.   However,  there  are  government  regulations  governing 
such  matters  as  job-related  disabilities  and  vacation  rights. 
The  maximum  number  of  hours  permitted  in  a  normal  workweek  is 
45  hours.   Although  not  consistently  enforced,  a  minimum  wage 
of  approximately  $13  a  month  is  mandated  by  the  Ministry  of 
Civil  Service.   The  wage  is  inadequate  to  maintain  even  a 
minimum  standard  of  living,  and  workers  must  supplement  their 
income  through  reliance  on  the  extended  family  and  subsistence 
agriculture.   Existing  legal,  health,  and  safety  standards  for 
workers  are  not  enforced  in  a  uniform  and  comprehensive  manner. 


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Kenya  has  had  an  elected  civilian  government  since 
independence  in  1963.   It  has  been  a  de  facto  one-party  state 
almost  since  independence  and  a  de  jure  one-party  state  since 
1982.   President  Daniel  T.  arap  Moi  maintains  firm  control 
over  both  the  Government  and  the  party,  the  Kenyan  African 
National  Union  (KANU) .   KANU  membership  is  a  prerequisite  for 
participation  in  national  political  affairs.   The  popularly 
elected  National  Assembly  (unicameral  Parliament)  of  202 
members  (including  12  appointed  by  the  President  and  2  ex 
officio  members)  has  little  independent  power  in  national 
political  affairs,  but  it  is  usually  involved  in  local  and 
regional  issues  or  in  affirming  the  President's  initiatives. 

The  Kenyan  armed  forces  constitute  a  small  professional 
establishment  with  a  total  strength  of  22,500  members.   Kenya 
has  an  internal  security  apparatus  that  includes  the  police 
criminal  investigation  department  (CID) ,  the  paramilitary 
general  services  unit  (GSU) ,  and  the  directorate  of  security 
and  intelligence  (DSI  or  Special  Branch).  The  CID  and  Special 
Branch  investigate  criminal  activity  and  are  also  used  to 
monitor  persons  whom  the  State  considers  subversive. 

Kenya's  modern,  market-oriented  economy  includes  a 
well-developed  private  sector  for  trade  and  light 
manufacturing  as  well  as  an  agricultural  sector  that  provides 
food  for  local  consumption  and  substantial  exports  of  coffee, 
tea,  and  other  commodities.   Kenya's  well-developed  tourism 
industry  has  surpassed  coffee  and  tea  as  the  top  foreign 
exchange  earner.   In  1989  a  continued  decline  in  world  coffee 
prices  exacerbated  a  balance  of  payments  problem.   Although 
economic  growth  continued,  a  persistently  high  population 
growth  rate  contributed  to  a  serious  and  growing  problem  of 
unemployment.   Kenyans  are  free  to  engage  in  private  economic 
activity  and  own  property  without  government  interference. 

Human  rights  continue  to  be  significantly  restricted  in  Kenya, 
and  in  1989  there  was  further  erosion  in  the  respect  for  civil 
liberties  and  political  rights.   With  forced  deportations,  the 
environment  for  refugees  worsened  in  1989.   By-elections  were 
marked  by  government  interference  in  support  of  particular 
candidates  and,  in  some  cases,  violence.   In  addition,  the 
Government  banned  two  magazines,  and  Parliament  barred  the 
largest  English-language  daily  from  covering  legislative 
affairs  for  a  4-month  period.   A  number  of  persons  were 
charged  with  behaving  "in  a  manner  likely  to  cause  a  breach  of 
the  peace,"  often  in  connection  with  making  statements 
critical  of  the  Government  or  of  political  figures.   There 
were  new  charges  of  police  brutality  and  also  growing  signs  of 
executive  manipulation  of  the  judicial  system.   In  early  June, 
the  Government  released  the  seven  political  detainees  held 
under  the  Preservation  of  Public  Security  Act  which  allows 
indefinite  detention  without  charge  or  trial  in  national 
security  cases.   Eight  persons  were  publicly  tried  and 
convicted  on  security  charges  (9  in  1988,  and  39  in  1987). 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  no  political  killings  in  1989.   However,  deaths  of 
suspects  in  police  custody  in  suspicious  circumstances 


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continued  to  occur,  including  the  death  of  former  Nairobi 
student  leader  Titus  Adungosi.   The  press  reported  that 
Adungosi  died  in  Kenyatta  hospital  of  a  stomach  ailment  while 
serving  a  10-year  jail  term  for  his  complicity  in  the  1982 
coup  attempt. 

Several  deaths  of  prisoners  held  on  other  than  security 
charges  occurred  during  1989.   The  Government  generally 
conducts  inquests  into  deaths  in  custody,  though  inquest 
results  are  not  often  made  public.   In  February  four  of  the 
five  CID  officers  charged  in  connection  with  the  1988  death  in 
Mombasa  police  custody  of  Zairian  musician  Taabu  Kotela 
Kiombwe  were  found  guilty  of  manslaughter  and  sentenced  to  5 
years  each.   In  September  the  State  agreed  to  pay  Kiombwe *s 
family  damages  in  an  out-of-court  settlement. 

By  the  end  of  1989,  no  officials  had  been  held  responsible  for 
the  1986-87  deaths  in  custody  of  two  persons  allegedly 
involved  in  the  underground  movement  Mwakenya. 

Human  rights  activists  have  also  commented  that  over  the  past 
several  years  numerous  suspects  have  been  fatally  shot  by  the 
police,  allegedly  while  fleeing. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  related  disappearances  in 
1989. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  and  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Torture  is  proscribed  under  the  Kenyan  Constitution.   However, 
torture  and  police  brutality  remained  an  important  issue  in 
1989.   While  in  1989  there  were  markedly  fewer  public 
allegations  of  torture  and  abuse  by  persons  held  on 
political/security  charges  than  in  recent  years,  a  number  of 
Kenyans  told  the  press  they  were  physically  abused  by  the 
police.   Professor  Maina  wa  Kinyatti,  who  was  released  from 
jail  in  1988,  told  the  U.S.  press  after  fleeing  Kenya  that 
"people  are  still  being  put  in  water  while  in  detention,"  (see 
Section  l.d.).   President  Moi  and  senior  government  officials 
publicly  condemned  police  brutality  and  torture,  and  some 
police  officials  were  convicted  of  human  rights  abuses  in  1989. 

Prison  conditions  in  Kenya  are  poor  and  sometimes  dangerous  to 
life  and  health.   Detainees  and  prisoners  have  complained  of 
beatings,  poor  food,  corruption,  and  inadequate  facilities  and 
medical  care.   Prisoners  often  must  sleep  on  cement  floors. 
Overcrowding  persisted  in  1989  and  contributed  to  the  rapid 
spread  of  meningitis  among  prisoners.   In  August  the  director 
of  medical  services  said  at  least  20  inmates  at  Kodiaga 
maximum  security  prison  and  12  inmates  at  Bungoma  prison  died 
of  meningitis.   The  Government  later  provided  inoculations  for 
prisoners.   In  a  directive  aimed  at  reducing  prison 
overpopulation.  President  Moi  released  10,274  petty  criminals 
in  October  on  the  11th  anniversary  of  his  presidency. 

The  Preservation  of  Public  Security  Act  (PPSA)  allows  for 
solitary  confinement  in  security-related  cases,  with  no 
contact  with  family  or  legal  counsel,  although  in  some  cases 
lawyers  and  families  have  been  permitted  to  visit  detainees. 
Correspondence  with  prisoners  is  monitored  and  occasionally 
not  delivered.   Prisoners  held  on  other  than  security  grounds 
are  allowed  one  brief  visit  per  month  by  family  members. 


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Prison  or  security  officers  are  usually  present  during  visits 
by  family  members  or  lawyers. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

The  Constitution  provides  that  most  arrested  or  detained 
persons  shall  be  brought  before  a  court  "as  soon  as  is 
reasonably  practicable,"  and  that  if  such  person  is  not 
brought  within  24  hours  of  his  arrest  or  from  the  commencement 
of  his  detention  the  burden  of  explanation  is  on  the 
authorities.   The  Constitution  was  amended  in  1988  to  allow 
the  police  to  hold  people  suspected  of  capital  offenses  for  14 
days  before  being  brought  before  a  court.   Capital  offenses 
include  such  crimes  as  murder  and  treason.   In  practice, 
suspects  of  all  types  are  often  held  incommunicado  for  long 
periods  before  being  brought  before  a  court. 

Kenya's  PPSA  allows  the  State  to  detain  a  person  indefinitely 
without  charges  or  trial.   A  formal  detention  order  must  be 
signed  and  publicly  gazetted.   There  is  no  judicial  review  of 
the  legality  of  detention.   Detention  cases  are  reviewed  by  a 
board  appointed  by  the  President  which  meets  in  camera  every  6 
months,  but  the  Government  is  not  bound  by  this  board's 
recommendations.   In  1989  there  were  no  new  detentions  under 
this  Act,  and  in  June  President  Moi  released  all  seven 
detainees  previously  held. 

In  other  cases,  the  number  of  which  is  difficult  to  gauge, 
people  were  held  in  police  custody  and  questioned  without 
being  charged  or  officially  detained  under  any  specific 
authority.   For  example,  in  1989  a  former  Member  of  Parliament 
was  picked  up  by  Nairobi  police  and  questioned  for  1  day.   He 
was  not  charged  or  detained.   Observers  estimate  that  there 
are  from  four  to  eight  people  being  held  by  Nairobi  police  in 
this  fashion  at  any  given  time — some  held  for  hours,  some  for 
days  or  even  weeks. 

Traditionally,  neither  exile  nor  threat  of  exile  has  been  used 
by  the  Government  as  a  means  of  intimidation  or  punishment. 
In  June,  however,  Nairobi  businessman  Idris  Osman,  an  ethnic 
Somali,  was  deported  to  Ethiopia  for  alleged  activities 
incompatible  with  national  interests  and  state  security. 
Although  Osman  held  a  Kenyan  passport,  Kenyan  authorities 
claimed  his  passport  had  been  issued  in  an  illegal  manner. 
Osman  was  deported  despite  a  court  order  to  airport  and 
immigration  officials  enjoining  such  action.   In  December  two 
other  ethnic  Somalis  were  deported  under  similar  circumstances. 

A  number  of  Kenyan  dissidents  have  resorted  to  self-exile.   In 
most  cases,  the  exiles  have  not  been  formally  charged  with 
crimes.   In  April,  fearing  rearrest,  historian  and  former 
university  lecturer  Maina  v;a  Kinyatti  fled  to  Tanzania  and 
eventually  emigrated  to  the  United  States.   Kinyatti,  who 
reported  being  beaten  and  otherwise  mistreated  in  prison,  had 
completed  a  6-year  jail  term  in  October  1988  for  possession  of 
an  allegedly  seditious  document.   In  June  President  Moi 
publicly  announced  a  general  amnesty  and  pardon  to  Kenyan 
dissidents  abroad  who  were  willing  to  return  home.   Two  such 
exiles  returned  in  1989. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  fair  Public  Trial 

Kenya's  legal  system,  as  defined  in  the  Judicature  Act  of 
1967,  is  based  on  the  Kenyan  Constitution,  laws  passed  by 


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Parliament,  and  conunon  law  or  court  precedent.   Customary  law 
is  used  as  a  guide  in  civil  matters  affecting  people  of  the 
same  ethnic  group  so  long  as  it  does  not  conflict  with 
statutory  law.   Kenya  does  not  have  the  jury  system.   The 
court  system  consists  of  a  Court  of  Appeals,  a  High  Court,  and 
two  levels  of  magistrates'  courts  where  most  criminal  and 
civil  cases  originate.   Civilians  are  tried  in  civilian 
courts,  and  verdicts  may  be  appealed  to  the  Kenyan  High  Court 
and  ultimately  to  the  Court  of  Appeal.   Kenyans  do  not  have  a 
right  to  legal  counsel  except  in  certain  capital  cases.   Most 
persons  tried  for  capital  offenses  are  provided  counsel  free 
of  charge  if  they  cannot  afford  it.   Military  personnel  are 
tried  by  military  courts,  and  verdicts  may  be  appealed. 
Attorneys  for  military  personnel  are  appointed  on  a  case  by 
case  basis  by  the  Chief  Justice. 

The  President  appoints  the  Chief  Justice  and  appoints  High 
Court  judges  with  the  advice  of  the  judicial  service 
commission.   The  President  also  appoints  the  Attorney 
General.   His  power  over  the  judicial  system  has  steadily 
increased  through  constitutional  amendments  adopted  in  1986 
and  1988,  one  of  which  gave  the  Government  greater  control 
over  the  firing  of  judges.   Among  other  things,  these  changes 
give  the  President  authority  to  fire  the  Attorney  General,  the 
Auditor  General,  and  High  Court  judges.   Many  observers  in 
Kenya  and  abroad  have  described  these  amendments  as 
undermining  the  independence  of  the  judiciary. 

The  constitutional  right  to  a  fair  public  trial  has  been 
circumscribed  in  many  instances,  notably  in  political/security 
cases  such  as  those  involving  alleged  Mwakenya  or  Kenya 
Patriotic  Front  (KPF)  members.   In  cases  involving  the  PPSA, 
the  courts  have  upheld  the  constitutionality  of  properly 
executed  actions  taken  under  the  authority  of  that  Act  but 
have  limited  themselves  to  ensuring  compliance  with  procedural 
provisions.   In  cases  without  political  implications  the  right 
to  a  fair  public  trial  is  normally  observed,  although  long 
delays  and  postponements  are  common. 

In  1989  there  were  8  public  convictions  involving  security 
charges.   In  the  first  public  prosecution  in  1989  involving 
membership  in  a  subversive  organization  (in  this  case,  the 
KPF),  Zachary  Kariuki  Paul  Mwati  admitted  in  court  to  three 
charges  of  spying  on  Kenyan  military  installations,  receiving 
money  from  self-exile  Koigi  wa  Wamwere,  and  sending  seditious 
documents  to  the  British  Broadcasting  Corporation  (BBC) . 
Mwati  was  held  incommunicado  before  appearing  in  court.   As  in 
most  security-related  trials  of  previous  years,  his  conviction 
was  based  on  his  "confession"  that  he  was  a  KPF  member. 
Unrepresented,  Mwati  was  sentenced  to  4  years. 

In  March  Joseph  Andrew  Kibagendi  and  James  Ondari  Omariba  were 
given  9  months  each  after  being  tried  and  convicted  of 
possession  of  a  subversive  document.   Both  men  had  legal 
representation.   Also,  in  March  Daniel  John  Mwangi  Theuri  was 
jailed  for  20  months  on  his  confession  in  court  that  he  joined 
the  KPF.   He  was  unrepresented. 

In  October  Dixon  Jowe  Alieth,  unrepresented  by  legal  counsel, 
was  sentenced  to  6  years  in  jail  for  possessing  seditious 
publications.   Also  in  October,  prison  warden  Wilson  Awuor 
Angonga  was  jailed  for  4  1/2  years  for  membership  in  the 
underground  movement  Mwakenya.   Angonga,  who  also  was  not 
represented  by  a  lawyer,  was  held  incommunicado  for 
approximately  4  weeks  before  he  pled  guilty. 


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In  November  former  primary  school  teacher  Benjamin  Andayi 
Muhehe  was  sentenced  to  12  months  in  jail  after  confessing  to 
a  charge  of  leaving  Kenya  illegally  to  obtain  military 
training  from  a  clandestine  movement.   Muhehe  was  held 
incommunicado  for  more  than  a  month.   He,  too,  apparently  was 
not  represented  by  a  lawyer.   Also  in  November,  former 
community  development  officer  Stephen  Mulili  Kituu  pled  guilty 
and  was  sentenced  to  4  years  for  membership  in  Mwakenya. 
Kituu,  who  had  been  held  for  1  month  before  being  sentenced, 
was  apparently  not  represented  by  legal  counsel. 

The  draft  version  of  the  advocates  bill  which  went  before 
Parliament  in  December  contained  no  requirement  that  lawyers 
obtain  licenses.   The  Law  Society  of  Kenya  had  argued 
vigorously  against  the  1988  Government  proposal  that  lawyers 
be  licensed.   However,  in  December,  the  Kenyan  press  reported 
that  KANU  planned  to  affiliate  the  Law  Society  to  the  ruling 
party.   The  Law  Society  objected  strongly  to  the  proposed 
affiliation,  and  President  Moi  later  said  that  KANU  had  no 
plans  to  merge  the  two  organizations. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Searches  without  warrants  are  allowed  under  the  Constitution 
in  certain  instances  "to  promote  the  public  benefit," 
including  security  cases.   Security  officials  also  conduct 
searches  without  warrants  to  apprehend  suspected  criminals  or 
to  seize  property  suspected  to  be  stolen.   Homes  of  suspected 
dissidents  have  been  searched  without  warrants,  as  have  the 
residences  of  foreign  missionaries.   Security  forces 
reportedly  employ  a  variety  of  surveillance  techniques, 
including  electronic  surveillance  and  a  network  of  informers. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Although  the  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  speech  and 
press,  the  exercise  of  these  rights  is  restricted.   No 
criticism  of  the  President  is  tolerated  in  any  form.   Kenya's 
sedition  laws  have  been  criticized  in  Kenya  and  abroad  for 
failing  to  distinguish  between  violent  and  nonviolent 
opposition  to  the  Government.   The  threat  of  detentions  and 
prosecutions  have  been  used  to  restrict  freedom  of  speech  and 
press.   For  example,  in  April  three  Standard  newspaper 
reporters  were  picked  up  by  police  on  separate  occasions  in 
and  around  Embu,  in  apparent  response  to  their  coverage  of  a 
political  controversy  involving  KANU  and  a  local  bishop. 

In  1989  there  was  an  increasing  pattern  of  arrests  on  charges 
of  behaving  in  a  manner  "likely  to  cause  a  breach  of  the 
peace,"  often  in  connection  with  statements  critical  of  the 
Government  or  government  officials.   For  example,  in  June  a 
man  was  jailed  for  6  months  for  shouting  in  a  bar  that  the 
Government  had  failed  to  assist  two  self-exiles.   In  September 
a  high  school  business  teacher  was  jailed  for  3  months  for 
saying  that  the  head  of  the  civil  service  should  "drop  dead" 
as  he  was  misadvising  the  President. 

Parliament  rarely  debates  national  issues  such  as  foreign 
policy.   Government  and  KANU  action  against  outspoken 
politicians,  clergymen,  and  lawyers,  as  well  as  the  detention 
provisions  of  the  PPSA  and  the  1988  amendment,  discourage 
public  exchange  of  views  on  political  topics  the  Government 


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considers  sensitive.   Sharp  government  criticism  of  churchmen 
who  opposed  government  policies  continued  in  1989  (see  Section 
2.C.).   At  the  end  of  the  year,  the  leader  of  the  Green  Belt 
movement  was  heavily  criticized  by  politicians  and  government 
officials  for  her  criticism  of  the  plan  to  construct  a 
60-story  building  on  open  space  in  central  Nairobi.   The 
movement  was  evicted  from  its  government-owned  headquarters  on 
1  day's  notice  (see  also  Section  5). 

The  single  television  and  all  radio  stations  are  owned  and 
controlled  by  the  Government.   In  June  after  the  Daily  Nation 
newspaper  was  barred  by  Parliament  from  covering  house 
proceedings,  the  Voice  of  Kenya  Press  Review  program  dropped 
its  coverage  of  Nation  news  stories,  allegedly  on  State  House 
instructions,  for  the  4-month  period  the  Nation  was  barred. 
Previously  the  Press  Review  program  had  highlighted  main 
articles  in  all  three  English-language  dailies. 

Privately  owned  newspapers  and  journals  are  published  in 
Kenya,  and  newspapers,  magazines,  and  books  from  abroad  are 
readily  available.   There  is  no  systematic  censorship  of  the 
press,  although  the  press  practices  self-censorship  and 
confines  its  commentary  within  usually  understood  but  legally 
undefined  limits.   The  press  criticizes  some  government 
policies  and  occasionally  government  officials  but  never  the 
President . 

At  times  the  Government  intervenes  to  tell  editors  how  to 
handle  sensitive  stories.   As  former  Assistant  Minister  in  the 
now-defunct  Ministry  of  National  Guidance  and  Political 
Affairs  Shariff  Nassir  commented,  "although  there  is  press 
freedom  in  Kenya,  editors  should  not  be  left  to  write  whatever 
they  want."   In  December  1988,  Financial  Review  editor  Peter 
Kareithi  was  picked  up  from  his  office  by  plainclothes  police, 
locked  up  for  several  hours,  questioned,  and  then  released. 
Later,  in  April  1989,  this  popular  weekly  news/economics 
publication  was  banned  after  it  published  controversial 
articles  on  the  Government's  economic  policies.   Financial 
Review  Limited,  publishers  of  the  magazine,  were  also 
proscribed  from  publishing  under  any  other  trade  name. 

In  August  the  Government  banned  another  magazine--the  Nairobi 
monthly  Development  Agenda.   The  magazine,  only  two  issues 
old,  focused  on  the  economy  and  current  events.   Unlike  the 
negative  publicity  which  preceded  the  banning  of  the  Financial 
Review,  the  banning  of  Development  Agenda  occurred  with  no 
warning;  no  Kenyan,  official  or  private,  had  publicly 
criticized  the  publication  prior  to  its  banning,  and  the 
Government  made  no  effort  to  explain  the  banning  or  offer  any 
justification  for  it. 

The  most  salient  example  of  curbs  on  press  freedom  occurred  in 
June  when  Parliament  barred  for  4  months  the  largest- 
circulation  English  newspaper,  Daily  Nation,  from  covering 
proceedings  of  the  National  Assembly.   Parliamentary 
criticism,  which  appeared  to  be  well-coordinated,  echoed 
criticisms  which  had  been  made  by  the  President  several  weeks 
earlier.   Members  of  Parliament  (all  of  whom  belong  to  KANU) 
debated  accusations  against  the  paper's  owners  and  editors, 
including  biased,  inaccurcte,  and  critical  reporting;  foreign 
ownership  (with  a  subtheme  of  encouraging  foreign  reporting 
against  Kenya's  interests)  and  an  unduly  high  percentage  of 
ethnic  Kikuyu  management. 


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In  August,  after  a  year  of  court  delays,  the  Government 
conceded  the  appeal  of  Bedan  Mbugua,  former  editor-in-chief  of 
the  proscribed  Christian  magazine  Beyond  (banned  last  year) . 
Mbugua  had  been  charged  and  convicted  of  failure  to  file 
annual  financial  returns.   However,  it  was  widely  believed 
that  the  real  reason  for  the  banning  was  his  publication  of  an 
article  criticizing  queue  voting  and  KANU's  conduct  during  the 
1988  elections.   Mbugua  had  served  14  days  of  his  9-month 
sentence  before  being  released  on  bail  pending  appeal.   The 
judicial  procedure  followed  in  Mbugua 's  case  was  highly 
irregular.   Rather  than  make  a  determination  on  the  merits  of 
the  appeal,  the  deputy  public  prosecutor  requested  that  the 
court  set  aside  the  conviction  and  sentence.   Beyond  magazine 
remained  banned  at  the  end  of  the  1989. 

More  than  100  foreign  journalists  representing  Western  news 
organizations  are  based  in  Kenya.   In  1989  the  Government 
continued  to  criticize  the  foreign  press  for  its  coverage  of 
Kenyan  issues.   Local  reporters  increasingly  came  under  attack 
as  well. 

While  there  are  no  legal  restrictions  on  academic  freedom, 
there  are  a  number  of  de  facto  ones.   The  Government  has 
employed  students  and  professors  to  monitor  classroom 
exchanges.   Past  detentions  and  trials  of  students  and 
professors  for  alleged  seditious  activities  have  inhibited 
academic  inquiry  that  might  be  construed  as  critical  of  the 
Government . 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Freedom  of  assembly,  while  provided  for  in  the  Constitution, 
is  seriously  limited  by  the  Public  Order  and  Police  Act,  which 
gives  authorities  power  to  control  public  gatherings,  defined 
as  meetings  of  three  or  more  persons.   It  is  illegal  to 
convene  an  unlicensed  meeting,  and  politicians  have  been 
arrested  for  violations  of  this  Act.   Although  licenses  to 
hold  public  meetings  are  rarely  denied,  Bishop  David  Gitari 
had  difficulty  obtaining  permits  to  conduct  fundraising 
meetings  for  his  church.   Bishop  Okullu  was  roundly  criticized 
by  the  Government  for  supporting  the  right  of  students  to 
protest  peacefully. 

Freedom  of  association  is  governed  by  the  Societies  Act  which 
states  that  every  association  must  be  registered  or  exempted 
from  registration  by  the  registrar  of  societies.   Some  groups 
have  had  difficulty  obtaining  registration  or  have  been 
deregistered.   With  the  exception  of  civil  servants,  who  are 
required  to  join  KANU,  Kenyans  are  not  legally  bound  to  join 
any  political  organization.   Although  the  party  and  the 
Government  emphasize  that  it  is  voluntary,  KANU  party 
membership  is  a  prerequisite  for  voting  and  holding  public 
office.   No  other  political  party  is  permitted. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Kenya  has  no  state  religion.   Freedom  of  worship  is 
acknowledged  in  the  Constitution  and  generally  allowed. 
Foreign  missionaries  of  many  denominations  are  permitted  to 
work  in  Kenya,  though  on  occasion  the  President  and  other 
officials  have  publicly  questioned  the  motives  of  certain 
missionaries  and  accused  them  of  interfering  in  politics. 


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Four  American  missionaries  were  deported  in  1989.   The  four 
were  affiliated  with  Associated  Christian  Churches  of  Kenya 
(ACCK) ,  a  U.S. -based  missionary  group  which  was  deregistered 
in  1988.   The  Government  maintained  that  the  four  missionaries 
were  working  in  Kenya  illegally. 

Churches  new  to  Kenya  must  obtain  government  approval  to  be 
registered.   The  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of  Latter-Day  Saints 
has  tried  without  success  for  8  years  to  obtain  registration. 
In  1987  the  Jehovah's  Witnesses  were  deregistered  but 
continued  to  hold  services  under  a  stay  order  from  the  High 
Court . 

There  is  no  religious  requirement  for  voting  or  holding 
office.   Clergymen  in  Kenya  have  spoken  out  on  political  as 
well  as  religious  issues  from  their  pulpits.   In  1989  senior 
officials  sharply  criticized  certain  clergymen,  including 
Anglican  bishops  Alexander  Muge,  Henry  Okullu,  David  Gitari, 
and  Presbyterian  Church  of  East  Africa  Reverend  Timothy  Njoya 
for  making  political  statements.   In  April,  30  armed  thugs 
raided  Bishop  Gitari 's  home,  and  KANU  youths  disrupted  a 
sermon  given  by  the  prelate.   The  attacks  came  after  Gitari 
referred  in  a  sermon  to  the  blatant  rigging  of  the  February 
elections  in  Kiharu  district.   The  results  of  a  State 
House-commissioned  police  inquiry  into  the  attack  on  Gitari 's 
house,  which  allegedly  found  that  the  raid  was  organized  by  a 
local  government  official,  were  not  made  public.   In  August 
Reverend  Timothy  Njoya  was  summoned  to  appear  before  the  Nyeri 
District  security  committee  and  questioned  for  nearly  4  hours. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Although  most  Kenyans  can  travel  freely  within  the  country, 
the  Government  has  in  the  past  used  the  PPSA  to  limit  the 
movement  of  persons  deemed  to  be  dangerous  to  the  public 
security.   Persons  traveling  by  road  to  sections  of 
Northeastern  Province  are  required,  due  to  the  prevalence  of 
highway  banditry  in  the  area,  to  travel  in  convoys  headed  by 
Kenyan  police. 

Kenya  does  not  generally  prohibit  emigration  of  its  citizens 
but  on  occasion  does  prevent  travel  abroad,  usually  by  critics 
of  the  Government.   In  particular,  it  sometimes  refuses  to 
return  passports  or  issue  new  ones  to  people  detained  under 
the  PPSA  for  some  time  after  they  are  released.   The 
Government  does  not  regard  the  issuance  of  passports  to 
citizens  as  a  right  and  reserves  the  authority  to  issue  or 
deny  passports  at  its  discretion.   In  1989  lawyers  Gibson 
Kamau  Kuria  and  Paul  Muite  were  still  unable  to  obtain  their 
passports.   Kuria,  who  had  been  jailed  for  9  months  in 
previous  years  after  defending  three  political  detainees,  has 
been  forbidden  to  leave  Kenya  since  his  arrest  2  years  ago 
(see  Section  4 )  . 

During  1989  there  was  no  known  instance  in  which  citizenship 
was  revoked  for  political  reasons.   In  the  case  of  Idris 
Osman,  an  ethnic  Somali,  the  Government  alleged  that  he  had 
obtained  his  Kenyan  passport  by  illegal  means  (see  Section 
l.d.).   In  December  two  additional  ethnic  Somali  businessmen 
were  deported  under  similar  circumstances. 

In  1989  Kenya  continued  to  accept  some  refugees  for  permanent 
resettlement,  though  its  acceptance  rate  dropped  from  90 
percent  in  1988  to  under  10  percent  in  the  first  half  of  1989, 


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subsequently  increasing  to  50  percent  for  the  rest  of  1989. 
In  1989  the  Kenyan  Government  stopped  accepting  virtually  all 
Ugandans  for  permanent  resettlement.   On  April  5,  Kenyan 
officials  entered  a  refugee  camp  outside  Nairobi,  rounded  up 
238  Ugandan  refugees,  and  forcibly  returned  them  to  Uganda. 
Although  the  United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees 
(UNHCR)  protested  the  deportations,  the  Kenyan  Government 
publicly  maintained  that  the  refugees  had  volunteered  to 
return  to  Uganda. 

In  September  an  estimated  3,000  Somalis  fled  into  northeastern 
Kenya  near  the  town  of  Liboi  to  escape  fighting  around  the 
Somali  border  town  of  Doble.   In  late  September,  60  Somali 
refugees  were  involuntarily  returned  to  Somalia.   During  this 
time  the  Government  refused  to  permit  the  UNHCR  and  the  Kenyan 
Red  Cross  to  travel  or  provide  food  to  the  Liboi  area.   In 
November  the  Government  reversed  its  decision  and  decided  to 
permit  the  UNHCR  and  the  Red  Cross  to  travel  to  the  area.   By 
the  end  of  the  year  unfavorable  weather  conditions,  an 
impassable  road,  and  a  flooded  airstrip  prevented  UNHCR  travel 
to  the  border. 

In  an  effort  to  control  the  refugee  presence  (around  12,000), 
the  Government  initiated  a  series  of  procedures  which  confined 
mandated  refugees  (i.e.,  refugees  not  accepted  by  Kenya  and 
awaiting  resettlement  to  a  third  country)  to  the  Thika  refugee 
camp.   The  Government  also  started  limiting  refugee  cards  to  2 
years'  duration  rather  than  giving  refugees  indefinite  or 
permanent  resettlement. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  cannot  change  the  system  of  government  in  Kenya  or 
replace  the  party  in  power  through  the  electoral  process.   The 
Constitution  prohibits  formation  of  any  political  party  other 
than  KANU,  and  President  Moi  and  a  small  group  of  advisers 
control  all  major  policy  decisions  within  the  Government  and 
the  party.   Since  1964,  when  Kenya  adopted  a  presidential 
system,  the  party's  candidate  for  President  has  been 
unopposed.   President  Moi  was  reelected  in  1988  to  a  third 
5-year  term.   Numerous  candidates  compete  in  party  and 
parliamentary  elections — also  held  every  5  years — but  all 
candidates  must  be  KANU  members,  and  the  national  party 
headquarters  has  exclusive  authority  to  approve  candidates  for 
political  office. 

In  1988  KANU  adopted  a  controversial  queuing  system  for 
electing  KANU  nominees.   It  requires  voters  to  line  up  in 
public  behind  photographs  of  the  candidates.   Only  those 
voters  who  have  KANU  membership  cards  are  permitted  to 
participate  in  the  nomination  process.   KANU  members  comprise 
at  most  50  percent  of  the  voting  age  population.   Candidates 
who  receive  70  percent  of  the  vote  in  the  queuing  stage  are 
automatically  elected  without  having  to  contest  the 
second-stage  secret  ballot  election.   In  the  1988  elections, 
one-third  of  the  candidates  were  elected  in  this  manner. 

The  public  nature  of  the  queuing  process  continues  to  raise 
obvious  questions  about  voter  intimidation.   In  the  1988 
elections  none  of  the  candidates  known  to  be  critical  of 
government/party  policies  was  elected.   Allegations  regarding 
the  abuse  of  secret  ballots  continue  as  well.   There  were  24 
petitions  filed  contesting  the  results  of  the  1988  races.   The 
High  Court  did  not  begin  hearing  the  petitions  until  1  year 


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after  the  elections:   10  were  withdrawn  by  the  petitioners,  11 
were  dismissed  by  the  High  Court  on  technical  grounds,  and  3 
were  won  by  the  petitioners. 

KANU  party  branches,  which  often  take  their  cues  from  State 
House,  have  the  power  to  suspend  or  expel  members  from  the 
party.   There  are  no  clear  guidelines  for  activities  requiring 
disciplinary  action.   Thus  party  officials  wield  significant 
power  and  can  remove  their  political  opponents  from  the 
party.   Since  party  membership  is  required  to  hold  public 
office,  expulsion  from  KANU  signifies  political  death,  at 
least  for  the  short  term.   Expelled  officials  may  eventually 
be  allowed  back  into  the  party  but  then  are  expected  to  adhere 
to  party  policies. 

In  an  extensive  June  1989  KANU  purge,  14  party  members, 
including  former  Vice-President  Josephat  Karanja,  several 
former  cabinet  ministers  and  4  sitting  Members  of  Parliament 
were  expelled  from  the  party,  thereby  precluding  their 
participation  in  Kenyan  politics.   By-elections  were  held  to 
fill  six  vacant  parliamentary  seats.   In  two  constituencies, 
the  voting  was  marred  by  violence  and  allegations  of  polling 
irregularities.   In  two  others,  it  was  characterized  by  voter 
apathy  and  extremely  low  turnouts. 

The  February  by-election  in  Kiharu  (necessitated  by  a 
resignation  from  Parliament  in  December)  was  perceived  by  many 
Kenyans  as  the  most  blatantly  unfair  of  recent  political 
contests.   In  that  by-election  G.M.K.  Mweru  was  declared  the 
winner  (over  Julius  Kiano)  with  over  70  percent  of  the  queue 
vote  in  the  party  election,  although  the  press  reported 
credible  accounts  which  indicated  that  Mweru  actually  polled 
no  more  than  800  votes  to  Kiano's  approximately  9,500.   (Kiano 
was  later  named  to  head  the  Kenya  Broadcasting  Corporation.) 
Local  KANU  officials  who  spoke  out  against  the  election 
results  later  recanted  after  being  threatened  with  expulsion 
from  the  party.   Despite  protests  by  local  KANU  party  and 
church  officials  and  petitions  circulated  among  voters,  the 
results  in  this  election  were  sustained. 

The  Sabatia  seat  left  open  by  Moses  Mudavadi's  death  was 
filled  by  Mudavadi's  son,  Musalia  Mudavadi,  without  an 
election.   KANU  party  officials  exhorted  voters  to  elect  the 
young  Mudavadi  unopposed.   The  candidates  who  had  voiced  an 
interest  in  the  seat  backed  out  of  the  race,  thereby  paving 
the  way  for  Mudavadi  to  take  the  seat  without  a  contest. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  reacts  negatively  to  criticism  of  its  human 
rights  record  and  discourages  Kenyans  from  providing  outside 
human  rights  groups  with  information.   President  Moi  has 
publicly  attacked  Amnesty  International  and  other  groups  for 
"meddling"  in  Kenya's  internal  affairs. 

In  December  1988,  two  American  lawyers  from  the  Lav/yers 
Committee  on  Human  Rights  sought  and  obtained  high  level 
appointments  with  government  officials  to  discuss  human  rights 
concerns.   In  March  a  delegation  from  the  Robert  F.  Kennedy 
Memorial  Center  visited  Kenya  to  present  lawyer  Gibson  Kamau 
Kuria  with  the  RFK  human  rights  award.   The  group  met  with 
President  Moi  and  other  high-ranking  government  officials  and 
was  able  to  move  about  freely  in  Kenya  to  speak  to  human 


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rights  advocates.   Although  the  presentation  of  the  award  was 
freely  conducted  before  a  large  audience,  the  press  conference 
given  by  Kerry  Kennedy  on  their  last  day  provoked  a  series  of 
virulent  anti-Kennedy  parliamentary  speeches  and  a  week-long 
anti-Kennedy  press  campaign. 

Several  Kenyan  organizations,  such  as  the  Law  Society  of  Kenya 
and  churches,  address  issues  related  to  human  rights,  but  none 
focuses  exclusively  on  human  rights  concerns.   Kenya  has  not 
ratified  the  Organization  of  African  Unity's  Human  and 
People's  Rights  Charter,  adopted  in  1981  in  Nairobi. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Kenya  is  a  diverse  country  that  does  not  mandate  legal 
discrimination  on  the  basis  of  race,  sex,  religion,  language 
or  social  status.   However,  in  November  the  Government 
required  all  Kenyans  of  ethnic  Somali  origin  to  go  through  a 
screening  program  designed  to  weed  out  illegal  Somali  aliens, 
who,  because  the  international  border  traverses  areas 
traditionally  inhabited  by  ethnic  Somalis,  are 

indistinguishable  from  Kenyan  nationals  of  Somali  origin.   The 
Government  stated  the  screening  was  triggered  in  part  by 
security-related  incidents  (game  park  poaching  and  attacks  on 
tourists)  in  areas  accessible  from  Somalia.   As  part  of  this 
campaign  the  Government  required  Kenyan  ethnic  Somalis  to 
carry  an  additional  form  of  identification  stating  that  they 
have  proven  themselves  to  be  Kenyan  citizens.   They  are  the 
only  ethnic  group  in  Kenya  required  to  do  so.   Some  ethnic 
Somalis  have  refused  to  participate  as  a  matter  of  principle. 
The  clergy,  the  Law  Society  of  Kenya,  and  members  of  the 
ethnic  Kenyan  Somali  community  criticized  the  screening 
process  as  discriminatory  and  illegal. 

Members  of  all  ethnic  groups  may  run  for  office,  and  ethnic 
representation  at  the  minister  and  assistant  minister  level  is 
broad.   Twelve  of  Kenya's  ethnic  groups  are  represented  in  the 
Cabinet.   Members  of  18  indigenous  ethnic  groups  and  1 
Caucasian  hold  positions  at  the  assistant  minister  level. 

The  Asian  community,  numbering  about  65,000,  accounts  for  a 
disproportionate  share  of  the  nation's  economic  wealth  and 
output.   The  Government's  policy  of  Africanization  of  the 
economy  has  resulted  in  some  Asian  emigration.   Kenya  amended 
its  citizenship  law  in  1984,  depriving  some  Asians  and 
Europeans  of  citizenship.   Under  present  law,  persons  born  in 
Kenya  of  non-Kenyan  parents  can  no  longer  claim  citizenship. 

There  is  no  legal  discrimination  against  women,  but 
traditional  culture  and  attitudes  have  long  prescribed  limited 
roles  for  women.   For  example,  in  responding  to  criticism  of 
the  Government  by  an  environmental  group  (led  by  a  female 
professor)  President  Moi  in  December  stated  that  the  African 
tradition  is  for  women  to  respect  men.   Women  may  own  property 
and  businesses.   Women's  roles  are  particularly  restricted  in 
rural  areas  where  they  account  for  75  percent  of  the  total 
agricultural  work  force. 

Polygamy  is  not  legal  for  people  married  under  the  Christian 
Marriage  Act,  but  it  is  permitted  for  those  who  marry  under 
African  customary  law.   Kenya's  law  of  succession,  which 
governs  inheritance  rights,  provides  for  equal  treatment  of 
male  and  female  children  (in  contrast  to  much  customary  law 
which  favors  the  eldest  male  children) . 


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Violence  agains  women,  especially  wife  beating,  has  emerged  in 
Kenya  as  a  fairly  widespread  and  growing  problem,  according  to 
many  doctors.   While  there  are  legal  remedies,  police  and 
judicial  authorities  are  sometimes  reluctant  to  intervene  or 
prosecute  husbands  who  physically  abuse  their  wives.   The 
Government  has  done  little  to  address  this  issue  beyond 
general  support  to  women's  organizations.   In  the  case  of 
female  circumcision,  which  is  still  practiced  by  some  Kenyan 
ethnic  groups  and  is  not  illegal,  the  Government  officially 
discourages  the  practice  but  leaves  it  to  women's  groups  to 
actively  oppose  female  circumcision  through  health  education 
programs.   In  December  President  Moi  publicly  asked  Kenyan 
communities  which  still  circumcise  women  to  stop  the 
practice.   Moi  called  female  circumcision  "outdated"  and  said 
it  was  "unacceptable  in  modern  Kenya." 

Section  6   Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

Civil  servants,  who  comprise  21  percent  of  total  wage  earners 
(and  41  percent  of  public  sector  wage  earners)  in  Kenya,  have 
been  barred  from  forming  or  joining  unions  since  President  Moi 
deregistered  their  union  in  the  early  1980's.   Moreover,  since 
1985  all  civil  servants  have  been  required  to  be  members  of 
the  ruling  party,  KANU.   Other  workers  are,  by  law,  free  to 
form  and  join  unions  but,  except  for  the  Kenya  National  Union 
of  Teachers  (KNUT) ,  all  unions  must  belong  to  the  single  trade 
union  confederation.  The  Central  Organization  of  Trade  Unions 
(COTU) .   KNUT  is  a  separate  organization  that  maintains 
"fraternal"  relations  with  COTU.   During  1989  the  Government 
considered  affiliating  COTU  to  the  ruling  KANU  party.   In  May 
1989  the  Government  decided  that  COTU  and  KANU  should 
"cooperate"  rather  than  be  affiliated.   The  Government,  COTU, 
and  KANU  agreed  that  there  should  be  no  interference  by  the 
party  in  the  collective  bargaining  process. 

The  Committee  on  Freedom  of  Association  (CFA)  of  the 
International  Labor  Organization  (ILO)  has  discussed  the  ban 
on  civil  service  trade  unions  for  the  last  several  years.   In 
early  1989  the  CFA  expressed  concern  at  the  length  of  time  the 
Government  was  taking  to  follow  through  on  the  implementation 
of  "measures  to  permit  the  establishment  of  organizations 
through  which  the  Kenyan  civil  servants  will  be  able  to  pursue 
normal  trade  union  activities"  and  asked  for  an  update  on  the 
plans  originally  promised  in  1987. 

The  Government  and  KANU  exercise  considerable  influence  over 
COTU  and  through  COTU  the  entire  trade  union  movement.   The 
President  has  the  right  to  appoint  or  remove  union  leaders  in 
COTU  for  the  positions  of  the  Secretary  General,  the  Deputy 
Secretary  General,  and  the  Assistant  Secretary  General,  though 
it  should  be  noted  that  the  President  has  not  exercised  this 
right  and  has  permitted  the  unions  to  select  COTU  leaders. 
Union  leaders  are  discouraged  but  not  prohibited  from  holding 
political  positions.   Currently  Sam  Muhanji,  the  General 
Secretary  of  the  Kenya  Union  of  Food,  Commercial,  and  Allied 
Workers  (the  largest  union  in  Kenya)  and  W.  Ndumbe,  the 
General  Secretary  of  the  Local  Government  Workers  Union  are 
Members  of  Parliament. 

The  only  workers  prohibited  by  law  from  striking  are  members 
of  the  armed  forces,  the  police  forces,  the  prison  service, 
and  the  national  youth  service.   Other  workers  have  the  right 
to  strike  21  days  after  a  written  report  of  the  dispute  is 


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submitted  to  the  Minister  of  Labor.   However,  this  right  is 
limited  by  the  broad  power  given  the  Minister  by  the  Trade 
Disputes  Act  whereby  the  Minister  has  the  authority  to  require 
the  two  parties  to  go  to  the  industrial  court  for  mandatory 
arbitration  of  their  differences.   Public  sector  workers  are 
not  specifically  prohibited  from  striking,  but  the  Minister  of 
Labor  enjoys  broad  authorities  to  prohibit  public  sector 
strikes.   In  1988  there  were  92  strikes,  mostly  illegal 
wildcat  work  stoppages  occurring  at  a  local  level  over 
specific  issues,  often  without  permission  from  the  national 
union  and  often  without  providing  the  Minister  with  written 
notification.   The  Government  has  not  prosecuted  trade 
unionists  involved  in  these  wildcat  strikes  unless  criminal 
activity  such  as  vandalism  has  taken  place.   The  last  public 
sector  strikes  in  Kenya  occurred  in  1986  when  there  were  two 
strikes  involving  41  workers  with  35  workdays  lost. 

COTU  is  affiliated  with  the  Organization  of  African  Trade 
Union  Unity  and  maintains  relations,  though  not  affiliation, 
with  the  International  Confederation  of  Free  Trade  Unions 
(ICFTU).   It  sends  observers  to  meetings  of  the  ICFTU  and  the 
Communist-controlled  World  Federation  of  Trade  Unions. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Collective  bargaining  is  protected  by  law  and  is  freely 
practiced  throughout  the  country.   The  only  government 
restriction  on  collective  bargaining  is  that  wage  settlements 
not  exceed  75  percent  of  the  rate  of  inflation.   Between  300 
and  400  collective  bargaining  agreements  are  registered  with 
the  Government  every  year  and  cover  most  of  Kenya's 
nonagricultural  wage  sectors.   Most  public  sector  workers  are 
covered  by  collective  bargaining  agreements  but  not  the  large 
numbers  of  civil  servants  (and  some  university  professors 
defined  as  "management").   Although  no  statistics  are 
available,  it  is  estimated  that  over  50  percent  of  Kenya's 
wage  workers  fall  under  a  collective  bargaining  agreement, 
though  less  than  20  percent  are  union  members.   Kenya  does  not 
permit  closed  shops,  and  unions  have  been  complaining  for 
years  over  the  problem  of  "free  riders."   Although  no  export 
processing  zones  exist  at  the  moment,  the  Government  plans  to 
open  two  in  the  near  future.   No  restrictions  on  worker  rights 
are  planned  in  these  zones. 

The  Government  promotes  voluntary  negotiations  between 
employers'  and  workers'  organizations  and  encourages  workers 
to  join  unions.   Both  in  law  and  practice,  union  officials  are 
protected  against  discrimination  or  penalties  based  on  their 
union  activities.   There  is  an  industrial  court  that  would 
hear  such  complaints,  although  there  have  been  none  in  recent 
years . 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Under  the  Chief's  Authority  Act,  a  local  authority  can  require 
the  performance  of  limited  communal  activities  for  the  benefit 
of  the  local  community.   While  this  provision  is  rarely 
invoked,  the  ILO  Committee  of  Experts  has  called  on  the 
Government  to  bring  this  Act  into  conformity  with  ILO  Forced 
Labor  Conventions  (to  which  Kenya  subscribes)  and  has  noted 
that  talks  are  continuing  for  the  introduction  of  the 
necessary  amendments.   There  are  a  number  of  provisions  in 
other  legislation  (e.g..  Penal  Code,  Public  Order  Act, 
Prohibited  Publications  Order,  Merchant  Shipping  Act,  and  the 


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Trade  Disputes  Act)  which  the  Committee  has  found  to  be 
inconsistent  with  the  Conventions. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  legal  minimum  age  for  employment  is  16.   Employment  and 
working  conditions  in  some  occupations  are  limited  for  those 
under  18.   The  minimum  age  regulations  do  not  apply  for 
agricultural  employment,  where  many  children  work  on  family 
farms,  or  for  domestic  work.   Although  enforcement  of  child 
labor  laws  is  lax,  child  labor  is  not  a  problem  in  the 
industrial  sector  or  in  dangerous  occupations  given  Kenya's 
high  unemployment  rate.   The  Ministry  of  Labor  has  difficulty 
enforcing  minimum  age  laws. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Over  80  percent  of  the  Kenyan  work  force  does  not  hold  jobs  in 
the  wage  sector  and  is  not  covered  by  minimum  wage  law.   For 
those  covered,  there  is  a  complicated  minimum  wage  scheme 
which  is  divided  by  age,  locale,  and  occupation.   Currently 
the  minimum  wage  (last  revised  June  1,  1989)  ranges  from 
$14.50  per  month  for  a  rural  unskilled  worker  under  age  18  to 
about  $82  dollars  per  month  for  a  cashier  in  Nairobi  or 
Mombasa.   Wage  earners  get  additional  benefits  including  a 
15-percent  supplement  for  housing  which  is  not  included  in  the 
above  minimum  wages.   A  Nairobi  wage  earner  making  $50  per 
month  would  have  a  great  deal  of  trouble  providing  for  his 
f ami ly--which  most  likely  is  very  large  since  Kenya  has  one  of 
the  highest  birth  rates  in  the  world.   Many  families 
supplement  a  wage  earner's  salary  by  selling  agricultural 
produce  or  by  having  additional  family  members  in  the  work 
force . 

The  standard  legal  workweek  in  Kenya  as  defined  by  the 
regulation  of  wages  order  is  52  hours  over  6  days,  except  for 
night  duty  workers  who  can  be  employed  for  up  to  60  hours  per 
week.   Agricultural  workers  are  exempt  from  this  order. 
Kenyan  labor  law  requires  weekly  (not  daily)  rest  periods, 
full  payment  for  public  holidays,  21  days  of  paid  annual  leave 
per  year,  sick  leave  (7  days  of  full  pay  and  7  additional  days 
of  half  pay)  and  2  months  at  full  pay  of  maternity  leave, 
though  women  using  maternity  leave  lose  their  annual  leave  for 
that  year.   Observance  of  these  regulations  is  mixed  and  the 
Ministry  of  Labor,  which  has  the  obligation  to  enforce  them, 
acts  on  the  basis  of  complaints,  which  are  few. 

The  Government  does  set  health  and  safety  standards  for 
factories,  the  construction  industry,  and  docks.   However,  the 
law  does  not  cover  the  large  agriculture  work  force  where  many 
workers  are  exposed  to  dangerous  pesticides.   The  Government 
is  considering  a  revision  of  the  "factories  act"  which  will 
expand  the  act's  coverage  into  the  agricultural  sector  and 
will  update  its  standards  to  include  regulating  the  use  of  new 
chemical  products. 

Enforcement  of  health  and  safety  standards  remains  a  problem. 
Safety  and  health  inspectors  have  the  legal  power  to  "enter, 
inspect,  and  examine,  by  day  or  night"  a  factory  where  he  or 
she  has  "reasonable  cause"  to  believe  there  may  be  a 
violation.   Inspectors  usually  respond  to  worker  complaints 
and  try  to  enforce  standards,  but  rarely  do  they  make  surprise 
inspections  of  factories.   The  "factories  act"  does  not 
contain  any  language  protecting  workers  who  file  complaints. 


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A  six-member  Military  Council,  led  by  Major  General  J.  M. 
Lekhanya,  has  ruled  Lesotho  since  seizing  power  in  a  coup 
d'etat  in  1986.   The  Military  Council  is  firmly  in  control  of 
the  State,  but  it  formally  conferred  all  legislative  and 
executive  power  on  Moshoeshoe  II,  the  previously  powerless 
King  of  Lesotho.   The  Military  Council  and  the  King  rule  by 
decree;  however,  a  predominately  civilian  appointed  Council  of 
Ministers  administers  the  day-to-day  operations  of 
government.   During  1989,  while  local  elections  were  held,  the 
military  regime  continued  its  ban  on  genuine  political 
activity  and  gave  no  indication  of  its  intention  to  restore 
constitutional  rule,  which  was  abolished  by  former  Prime 
Minister  Jonathan  in  1970. 

The  Royal  Lesotho  Defense  Force  (RLDF)  of  about  2,000  troops 
is  responsible  for  internal  and  border  security.   The  RLDF  is 
assisted  by  a  small  police  force  of  roughly  equal  size. 
Public  security  stabilized  in  1989,  and  the  Government  ended 
in  August  its  1988  state  of  emergency  (SOE)  against  crime. 

A  landlocked  country  completely  surrounded  by  South  Africa, 
Lesotho  is  almost  entirely  dependent  on  its  neighbor  for 
trade,  finance,  employment,  and  access  to  the  outside  world. 
Approximately  60  percent  of  the  adult  male  labor  force  is 
employed  in  South  Africa's  mines,  and  remittances  from  workers 
(more  than  $230  million  in  1988)  are  a  critical  factor  in 
financing  imports. 

Human  rights  in  Lesotho  in  1989  remained  circumscribed.   Major 
concerns  included:   the  use  of  preventive  detention  without 
trial  to  blunt  opposition  political  activity  and  restrictions 
on  freedom  of  speech,  assembly,  and  the  right  of  citizens  to 
change  their  government  through  democratic  means.   In  1989 
Military  Council  Chairman  Lekhanya  was  exonerated  for  shooting 
to  death  a  20-year-old  university  student  who  was  allegedly 
fleeing  from  the  campus  scene  of  an  attempted  rape  of  a  local 
woman  (see  Section  I.e.).   In  a  significant  development,  the 
Government  in  February  permitted  the  return  of  Basutoland 
Congress  Party  (BCP)  leader  Ntsu  Mokhehle,  following  nearly  15 
years  of  political  exile,  together  with  hundreds  of  his 
followers  who  were  peacefully  reintegrated  into  the  local 
society. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 


The  Government  made  no  progress  in  identifying  the 
perpetrators  or  their  motives  for  the  brutal  1986  murders  of 
former  Ministers  of  Information  and  Foreign  Affairs,  Desmond 
Sixishe  and  Vincent  Makhele,  and  their  wives.   However,  a 
judicial  inquiry  to  investigate  the  killings  was  convened  in 
November  1989.   Amnesty  International  has  also  continued  to 
press  for  inquiries  into  the  suspicious  1988  deaths,  while  in 
custody,  of  Samuel  Hlapo,  a  hijacker,  and  Mazizi  Maqokesa,  a 
South  African  exile  member  of  the  African  National  Congress. 

During  1989  a  number  of  apparently  politically  motivated 
murders  took  place  in  several  rural  areas  of  southern  Lesotho, 


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along  the  border  with  the  South  African  homeland  of  Transkei. 
On  June  9,  a  passenger  bus  traveling  from  Xixondo  to  Quthing 
was  attacked  by  five  unknown  gunmen.   Three  people  were 
killed,  four  injured,  and  the  bus  was  set  on  fire.   In  early 
August,  a  military  vehicle  was  attacked  along  the 
Quthing-Mount  Moorosi  road  by  three  unidentified  gunmen, 
although  no  one  was  killed  or  injured.   Later  in  the  year,  at 
least  seven  people,  mostly  merchants  and  shopkeepers,  were 
killed  by  unidentified  gunmen  in  the  Mohale's  Hoek  district. 
Authorities  believe  that  a  Transkei-based  renegade  faction  of 
the  Lesotho  Liberation  Army  (LLA) ,  which  broke  with  the  BCP 
and  repudiated  the  leadership  of  Ntsu  Mokhehle,  was 
responsible  for  the  killings.   This  is  the  same  group  held 
responsible  for  a  1988  Maseru  bus  hijacking  in  which  five 
people — three  hijackers  and  two  hostages — were  killed. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  related  disappearances  in 
1989.   Independent  and  church-affiliated  newspapers  reported 
several  abductions  by  South  African  authorities  in  Lesotho. 
Victims  reportedly  included  both  criminal  suspects  and 
political  targets.   The  Government  neither  condones  nor 
collaborates  with  South  Africa  in  these  alleged  operations. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

SOE  powers  were  exercised  arbitrarily  in  some  cases;  in  1988 
there  were  frequent  reports  of  police  beatings,  ill-treatment, 
and  even  death  of  some  suspects  in  custody.   The  police  were 
granted  immunity  under  emergency  regulations  against 
prosecution  for  any  acts  committed  in  the  course  of  their 
duties.   Excesses  by  law  enforcement  agencies  continued  to 
occur  in  1989,  including  false  arrests  and  ill-treatment  of 
suspects.   These  excesses,  however,  did  not  occur  with  the 
same  frequency  as  during  the  early  period  of  the  SOE.   Several 
police  officers  were  tried  and  convicted  for  human  rights 
abuses  during  the  year. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Lesotho  declared  the  SOE  in  February  1988  as  a  measure  to 
combat  rising  crime.   In  April  1988,  the  High  Court  annulled 
the  SOE  on  the  basis  that  the  emergency  had  been  illegally 
declared.   Eleven  days  later,  however,  the  Government  renewed 
the  SOE,  and  the  SOE  remained  in  force  until  August  1989.   The 
Government  briefly  considered  renewing  the  SOE  in  December. 

The  SOE  gave  the  police  extensive  powers  of  arrest,  search, 
and  seizure  without  a  warrant.   Persons  suspected  of  armed 
robbery  and  certain  other  criminal  offenses  could  be  detained 
for  up  to  14  days  and  for  longer  periods  on  order  of  the 
Minister  of  Defense  and  Internal  Security.   Under  the 
emergency  regulations,  an  arrest  without  a  warrant  could  be 
made  on  grounds  of  "reasonable"  police  suspicion  of  the 
commission  of  a  specified  crime.   The  regulations  provided  no 
standards  for  determining  reasonableness,  however,  and  the 
lack  of  early  judicial  review  left  open  the  possibility  of 
essentially  arbitrary  detention. 

Even  during  the  SOE,  established  procedures  remained  in  effect 
for  normal  civil  and  some  criminal  cases,  including  the  right 
of  3  detainee  to  an  early  determination  of  the  legality  of  his 
detention.   The  1981  Criminal  Procedures  and  Evidence  Act,  as 


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LESOTHO 

amended  in  1984,  makes  provision  for  the  granting  of  bail. 
Under  the  Act,  the  High  Court  is  the  only  judicial  body 
empowered  to  grant  bail  in  cases  of  armed  robbery  or  suspected 
homicide. 

In  political  cases,  the  Internal  Security  (general)  Act  (ISA) 
of  1984  applies.   This  Act  provides  for  so-called 
investigative  detention  without  charge  or  trial  for  up  to  42 
days  (the  first  14  days  on  order  of  the  police;  the  second  14 
days  on  order  of  the  police  commissioner;  and  the  final  14 
days  on  order  of  the  Minister  of  Defense  and  Internal 
Security) .   Detainees  may  be  held  incommunicado  up  to  14 
days.   During  the  second  stage  of  the  detention,  ministerially 
appointed  "advisers"  (all  government  employees  to  date)  report 
on  the  health  of  the  detainee,  investigate  whether  the 
detainee  has  been  involved  in  subversive  activities,  and 
advise  the  Minister  of  Defense  and  Internal  Security  of  the 
need  for  continued  detention.   Detainees  under  the  Act  may 
make  representation  about  their  own  treatment  only  through  the 
adviser.   The  Act  also  allows  for  detention  of  witnesses  in 
security  cases. 

In  addition,  a  1986  amendment  to  the  ISA  allows  the  Minister 
of  Defense  and  Internal  Security  to  "restrict"  a  person,  who, 
in  the  opinion  of  the  police  commissioner,  is  conducting 
himself  in  a  manner  prejudicial  to  public  order,  security, 
administration  of  justice,  or  obedience  to  the  law  or  lawful 
authority.   A  restriction  order  limits  the  movements  of  a 
restricted  person  to  a  certain  location  and  to  certain  hours 
of  the  day  and  may  prohibit  association  or  communication  with 
other  persons. 

The  Government  twice  invoked  the  ISA  against  perceived 
political  opponents  during  1988-1989.   One  case  involved 
Johnny  Wa  Ka  Maseko,  a  South  African-born  editor  of  the 
independent  newspaper.  The  Mirror,  who  was  deported  from 
Lesotho  in  December  1988  after  publishing  a  series  of  articles 
on  alleged  government  corruption.   Maseko,  who  had  lived  in 
Lesotho  since  1980  as  a  political  refugee,  was  first  arrested 
on  October  27,  1988,  on  charges  of  criminal  defamation.   He 
was  released  on  bail  the  same  day  but  was  rearrested  on 
November  14,  held  for  4  weeks  under  the  ISA,  and  then  deported 
for  alleged  subversion  and  espionage. 

The  second  case  involved  Joel  Moitse,  a  university  lecturer 
and  former  cabinet  minister  in  the  previous  government,  and 
Majora  Molapo,  a  civil  servant  in  the  previous  government, 
nephew  of  the  late  Prime  Minister  Jonathan,  and  active  in  the 
banned  Basutoland  National  Party.   The  two  were  detained  in 
May  following  the  publication  of  a  highly  critical  political 
tract  against  the  King  and  his  Government.   Moitse  was 
released  from  detention  on  June  7,  just  as  his  detention  was 
being  challenged  in  the  High  Court.   On  his  release,  Moitse 
was  immediately  issued  with  a  restriction  order  and  confined 
to  his  family  residence.   The  order  was  lifted  after  6  days, 
but  it  was  the  first  known  restriction  order  issued  by  the 
military  Government.   Malapo  was  subsequently  released  without 
restrictions . 

The  military  Government's  general  amnesty  for  exiled  Basotho 
remained  in  effect.   Following  secret  negotiations  in  late 

1988,  BCP  leader  Ntsu  Mokhehle  returned  to  Lesotho  in  February 

1989.  The  core  element  of  the  BCP  military  wing,  the  LLA,  was 
disbanded,  except  for  a  small  dissident  group  reportedly  based 
in  the  Transkei .   The  return  of  Mr.  Mokhehle  and  most  of  his 


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LESOTHO 

followers  represented  a  major  achievement  for  the  Government's 
policy  of  national  reconciliation.   There  was  no  indication  in 
1989  whether  Mokhehle  would  be  permitted  to  engage  in 
political  activity. 

with  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  judiciary  consists  of  the  Court  of  Appeal,  the  High  Court, 
magistrate  courts,  and  customary  or  traditional  courts,  which 
exist  largely  in  rural  areas  to  administer  customary  law. 
Court  decisions  and  rulings  are  respected  by  the  authorities 
and  are  generally  free  of  interference  by  the  executive. 
Accused  persons  have  the  right  to  counsel  and  public  trials. 
The  courts  have  acted  to  limit  infringements  of  law  on 
numerous  occasions  in  past  years,  e.g.,  its  April  1988 
annulment  of  the  SOE  on  procedural  grounds  (but  which  the 
Government  quickly  reinstituted) .   Under  the  system  of 
Roman-Dutch  law  applied  in  Lesotho,  there  is  no  trial  by 
jury.   Criminal  trials  are  normally  adjudicated  by  a  single 
High  Court  judge  who  presides  with  two  assessors,  who  serve  in 
an  advisory  capacity.   In  civil  cases,  judges  normally  hear 
cases  alone.   The  High  Court  also  provides  procedural  and 
substantive  advice  and  guidance  on  matters  of  legal  procedure 
to  military  tribunals;  however,  it  does  not  participate  in 
arriving  at  judgments.   Military  tribunals  have  jurisdiction 
only  over  military  cases. 

A  judicial  inquest  is  initiated  by  the  Attorney  General  on  the 
authority  of  the  Judicial  Inquest  Proclamation  Number  32  of 
1954.   In  the  Lekhanya  case,  the  Chairman  of  the  Military 
Council  shot  and  killed  a  20-year-old  university  student  as 
the  student  was  allegedly  fleeing  from  the  scene  of  an 
attempted  rape  of  a  local  woman.   After  a  controversial 
2-month  judicial  inquest  into  the  circumstances  of  the  death, 
during  which  General  Lekhanya  testified  and  submitted  to 
cross-examination,  the  Chairman  was  exonerated  following  a 
judicial  finding  of  justifiable  homicide. 

There  were  no  known  political  prisoners  in  Lesotho  at  the  end 
of  1989. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Both  the  1988  SOE  regulations  and  the  ISA  provide  police  with 
wide  powers  to  stop  and  search  persons  and  vehicles  and  to 
enter  homes  and  other  places  for  similar  purposes  without  a 
warrant.   In  1989  there  were  some  reports  of  violations  of 
individual  privacy  by  state  authorities,  but  these  were 
greatly  reduced  from  the  number  reported  during  the  1988  SOE. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Human  Rights  Act  of  1983  provides  for  freedom  of 
expression  but  subordinates  this  freedom  to  the  needs  of 
national  security.   Following  the  1986  coup,  a  formal  ban  on 
politics  was  announced  with  stringent  restrictions  on  freedom 
of  speech  and  political  assembly.   In  particular.  Government 
Order  No.  4  prohibits  persons  and  groups  from  making  political 
speeches  and  from  publishing  or  distributing  political  party 
materials . 


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Despite  the  ban  on  organized  political  party  activity, 
political  activists  met  privately  in  1989,  and  leaders  of 
Lesotho's  five  principal  political  parties  made  individual  or 
joint  statements  criticizing  the  military  Government  and 
calling  for  a  restoration  of  civilian  rule.   Except  for  the 
cases  of  Moitse  and  Molapo,  the  Government  made  no  attempt  to 
inhibit  such  political  discussion  or  activity. 

The  Government  controls  the  official  media  (one  radio  station 
and  a  weekly  newspaper)  and  ensures  that  they  faithfully 
reflect  government  views.   However,  the  Government  rarely  uses 
them  to  attack  its  critics,  and  opposition  viewpoints  were 
routinely  expressed  in  1989  in  two  Sesotho-language  weekly 
newspapers  published  by  the  Roman  Catholic  Church  and  the 
Lesotho  Evangelical  Church.   Also,  despite  deportation  of  the 
editor  of  The  Mirror,  it  continued  to  be  published  in  1989, 
and  was  sometimes  critical  of  the  Government. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  military  Government's  ban  on  "politics"  was  not 
interpreted  to  require  the  dissolution  of  existing  political 
parties,  but  the  ban  does  preclude  political  gatherings  and 
rallies.   Nonpolitical  organizations  and  professional  groups 
are  freely  formed,  even  encouraged,  and  are  allowed  to  hold 
public  and  regular  meetings. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  organizations,  see  Section  6. a, 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

There  is  no  state  religion  in  Lesotho.   Free  and  open 
religious  practice  is  permitted  and  encouraged.   Christianity 
is  the  dominant  faith  of  the  majority  of  Basotho,  and  Roman 
Catholicism  is  preeminent.   There  is  a  significant  Protestant 
minority  composed  of  the  Lesotho  Evangelical  Church,  the 
Anglican  Church,  and  a  number  of  other  smaller  denominations. 
Conversion  is  permitted,  and  there  is  no  apparent  social  or 
political  benefit  or  stigma  attached  to  belonging  to  any 
particular  church.   There  are  no  bars  to  missionary  activity 
or  work  by  foreign  clergy. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Citizens  generally  are  allowed  to  move  freely  within  the 
country  and  across  national  boundaries.   There  were  instances 
in  recent  years,  however,  in  which  the  Government  restricted 
passports  for  political  reasons,  but  none  occurred  in  1989. 
Liberal  emigration  policies  exist,  and  the  Government  places 
no  obstacles  in  the  way  of  its  own  citizens  who  wish  to 
emigrate. 

The  refugee  flow  from  South  Africa  slowed  dramatically  in 
recent  years  to  only  a  few  refugees  per  month.   In  1989  there 
were  only  56  refugee  cases,  45  of  which  were  South  African. 
In  these  cases,  persons  have  been  treated  fairly,  consistent 
with  Lesotho's  international  obligations.   Refugees  affiliated 
with  South  African  liberation  movements,  however,  were  given 
expeditious  transit  to  third  countries  for  resettlement.   More 
than  300  refugees  without  this  affiliation  have  been  allowed 
to  resettle  in  Lesotho. 


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Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  of  Lesotho  currently  do  not  have  the  freedom  to 
change  the  existing  government,  nor  do  they  play  a  role  in 
national  decisionmaking.   The  military  Government,  which 
assumed  power  in  1986,  announced  that  it  intends  to  remain  in 
power  until  peace  and  national  reconciliation  are  fully 
restored.   Neither  a  time  frame  for  this  process  has  been  set, 
nor  has  any  schedule  been  announced  for  constitutional 
discussions,  elections,  and  a  return  to  civilian  rule. 
Elections  for  local  development  councils  were  contested  by 
persons  not  officially  affiliated  with  political  parties. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  has  been  unresponsive  on  human  rights  issues, 
particularly  when  the  call  for  outside  investigation  emanates 
from  the  domestic  political  opposition.   Representations  by 
several  influential  human  rights  and  media  organizations  in 
the  Maseko  deportation  case  had  no  effect,  but  similar 
appeals,  including  from  the  National  University  of  Lesotho 
staff  association,  may  have  been  a  factor  in  the  decision  to 
release  professor  Joel  Moitse. 

There  are  no  internal  human  rights  organizations,  either 
official  or  nongovernmental.   Reports  of  alleged  human  rights 
abuses  are  sometimes  carried  in  the  local  press,  particularly 
the  church  newspapers  and  Lesotho's  sole  independent  weekly. 
The  Mirror. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Most  citizens  of  Lesotho  speak  a  common  language  and  share 
common  historical  and  cultural  traditions.   Nonindigenous 
citizens  have  generally  married  into  the  Basotho  nation,  which 
tends  to  be  inclusive  and  assimilative.   Expatriate 
communities  are  small  and  are  not  considered  to  be  a  major 
factor  in  the  country's  political  life.   Asians  (primarily 
ethnic  Chinese  and  Indians)  and  South  African  whites  are 
active  in  the  country's  commercial  life.   In  1987  the  military 
Government  formulated  a  policy  aimed  at  "localization"  of 
Lesotho's  commercial  retail  trade,  and,  under  the  trading 
enterprise  order,  called  on  foreign  owners  to  enter  into  joint 
ventures  with  Basotho  nationals.   Equity  transfers  would 
entail  compensation.   To  date,  the  "localization"  order  has 
not  been  strictly  enforced,  due  largely  to  difficulties  in 
identifying  local  entrepreneurs  to  take  over  expatriate-owned 
businesses  and  in  financing  such  take-overs,  and  to  concern 
over  foreign  reaction. 

Political  exiles  from  SoutJi  Africa,  who  are  often  viewed  as 
magnets  for  South  African  political  or  military  intervention 
in  the  country,  are  sometimes  allowed  to  remain  in  Lesotho  on 
condition  that  they  neither  engage  in  political  activities  nor 
speak  openly  and  critically  about  the  political  situation  in 
South  Africa . 

The  Government  has  still  not  seriously  addressed  the  issue  of 
woman's  rights.   In  Lesotho  these  rights  are  severely  limited 
by  both  law  and  custom,  including  in  the  area  of  property, 
inheritance,  and  contracts.   Under  Lesotho's  customary  law,  a 


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married  woman  is  considered  a  minor  during  the  lifetime  of  her 
husband,  with  all  of  the  legal  limitations  that  this  status 
implies.   She  cannot  enter  into  any  legally  binding  contract, 
whether  for  employment,  commerce,  or  education,  without  her 
husband's  consent.   A  married  woman  has  no  standing  in  court 
and  cannot  sue  or  be  sued  without  her  husband's  permission. 

Despite  their  second-class  status,  women  in  Lesotho 
traditionally  have  been  the  stabilizing  force  in  the  home  and 
in  the  agricultural  sector,  given  the  absence  of  over  100,000 
Basotho  men  who  work  in  South  Africa.   More  female  than  male 
children  complete  primary  and  secondary  schools. 

Domestic  violence,  including  wife  beating,  occurs,  but,  as 
statistics  are  not  available,  the  extent  of  the  problem  is  not 
known.   In  Basotho  tradition  a  wife  may  return  to  her 
"maiden-home"  if  physically  abused  by  her  husband;  in  common 
law,  wife  beating  is  a  criminal  offense  and  defined  as  assault 
under  the  1981  Criminal  Procedure  and  Evidence  Act.   A  1976 
High  Court  case  successfully  reversed  a  Roman-Dutch  legal 
tradition  which  recognized  a  husband's  right  to  chastise  his 
wife  at  will.   While  the  Government  has  made  some  attempts  to 
enhance  the  economic  prospects  of  women,  very  little  direct 
action  has  been  taken  to  improve  their  subordinate  status  in 
the  society. 

Section  6   Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

Lesotho  is  a  party  to  the  International  Labor  Organization 
(ILO)  Convention  87  on  Freedom  of  Association  and  Convention 
98  on  Collective  Bargaining.   At  least  one  new  union  was 
formed  in  1989  to  organize  construction  workers  for  the 
mammoth  $2-billion  Highlands  Water  Project. 

Roughly  60  percent  of  Lesotho's  active  male  labor  force 
between  the  ages  of  20  and  44  work  in  the  Republic  of  South 
Africa,  mainly  in  gold  and  coal  mines.   At  least  70  percent  of 
the  remainder  are  engaged  in  traditional  agriculture.   The 
rest  are  employed  mainly  by  the  Government  and  in  small 
industries  in  Lesotho.   A  majority  of  Basotho  mineworkers  are 
members  of  the  South  African  National  Union  of  Mineworkers 
(NUM) .   Because  the  NUM  is  an  extraterritorial  worker 
organization,  it  is  not  permitted  to  engage  in  union 
activities  in  Lesotho. 

There  are  two  trade  union  federations  in  Lesotho,  the  Lesotho 
Congress  of  Free  Trade  Unions  (LCFTU)  and  the  Lesotho 
Federation  of  Trade  Unions  (LFTU) .   The  much  larger  LCFTU 
encompasses  24  affiliated  independent  trade  unions;  the  LFTU 
has  4.   Like  its  predecessor,  the  current  Government  supports 
the  formation  of  a  single,  umbrella  trade  union  center,  and 
since  1988  has  stepped  up  its  efforts  to  broker  a  merger 
between  Lesotho's  two  competing  federations.   The  immediate 
catalyst  for  this  renewed  interest  was  the  embarrassing 
dilemma  faced  by  the  Government  recently  in  deciding  which 
federations  should  represent  Lesotho  at  international 
conferences.   More  fundamentally,  the  Government  believes  that 
the  size  of  Lesotho's  work  force  does  not  warrant  the  more 
than  30  existing  labor  unions  and  would  like  to  see  these 
consolidated.   A  merger  would  also  eliminate  competition  among 
unions  in  their  negotiations  with  employers,  and  enhance  the 
bargaining  power  of  the  work  force.   There  are,  however,  deep 
philosophical,  political,  and  ideological  differences  between 


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the  two  federations,  reflecting  the  historical  differences  of 
the  two  political  parties  with  which  they  are  affiliated.   As 
the  federations  were  unable  to  reach  agreement  in  1989,  the 
Government  is  considering  legislation  to  force  the  desired 
merger . 

While  a  legal  right  to  strike  exists  for  workers  in 
nonessential  services,  in  practice  the  procedure  for  calling  a 
strike  is  so  lengthy  and  cumbersome  that  it  discourages  legal 
strike  actions  and  accounts  for  the  prevalence  of  wildcat 
strikes.   The  1964  Trade  Union  and  Trade  Disputes  Act 
enumerates  lengthy  procedures  which  must  be  followed  before  a 
strike  is  called.   The  last  general  strike  was  in  1961.   There 
were  several  wildcat  strikes  in  1988  and  1989  against  both 
foreign  and  domestic  companies,  mostly  over  wages  and 
conditions  of  work.   Usually,  wildcat  strikes  have  been  of 
short  duration  and  ended  in  compromise,  although  a  1988  strike 
at  the  government-owned  Lesotho  flour  mills  ended  with  the 
dismissal  of  more  than  300  employees.   In  1989  workers  went  on 
strike  against  a  South  African  construction  firm  building  an 
access  road  to  the  Highlands  Water  Project.   The  workers  were 
protesting  differential  wage  and  working  conditions  and  the 
employment  of  large  numbers  of  South  African  workers;  the 
action  turned  violent  and  resulted  in  serious  injury  to  two 
workers . 

The  LCFTU  is  a  member  of  the  Southern  African  Trade  Union 
Coordination  Council,  the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union 
Unity,  and  the  International  Confederation  of  Free  Trade 
Unions.   The  LFTU  has  fewer  international  affiliations  but  is 
becoming  more  active  internationally.   Aside  from  a  1987-1988 
prohibition  on  the  travel  of  LCFTU  Secretary  General  Jonathan, 
the  Government  has  placed  no  obstacles  to  international 
affiliations  or  foreign  travel  for  labor  union-related 
purposes . 

In  its  1989  report,  the  ILO  Committee  of  Experts  (COE)  asked 
the  Government  to  report  if  the  SOE  was  still  in  effect,  and 
whether  any  regulations  had  been  adopted  under  this 
legislation.   The  Committee  also  reiterated  its  objection  to 
provisions  of  the  Essential  Services  Arbitration  Act  which 
restricts  the  right  to  strike  and  applies  compulsory 
arbitration  to  disputes  in  the  banking  industry. 

b.   The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

All  trade  unions  in  Lesotho  enjoy  the  right  to  organize  and 
bargain  collectively.   These  rights  were  established  in  the 
1964  Trade  Union  and  Trade  Disputes  Act  and  in  the  1967 
Employment  Act,  as  amended  in  1977.   There  is  also  an  unfair 
labor  practices  tribunal  whose  m.andate  is  to  investigate 
unfair  labor  practices  and  safeguard  worker  rights.   A 
government-appointed  labor  commission  is  also  charged  with, 
inter  alia,  monitoring  wage  and  working  conditions  and 
accepting,  reviewing,  and  investigating  worker  complaints. 

There  is  clear  recognition  in  Lesotho,  however,  that  its 
industrial  relations  system  is  outmoded.   The  Government  has 
been  working  for  several  years  with  the  ILO  to  formulate  a 
comprehensive  new  labor  code.   In  September,  following 
extensive  local  tripartite  consultations,  the  Government  gave 
preliminary  approval  to  a  draft  labor  code,  which  includes  242 
separate  provisions  aimed  at  briiiging  the  country's  labor  laws 
into  full  conformity  with  ILO  standards  promoting  collective 


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bargaining  and  greatly  simplifying  the  worker's  right  to 
strike. 

Lesotho  has  several  industrial  estates  grouping  together 
companies,  mostly  textile  and  apparel  firms,  engaged  in 
manufacturing  for  export.   There  are  no  prohibitions  against 
organized  labor  in  these  industrial  zones,  and  labor  laws  are 
applied  uniformly  throughout  the  country. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Forced  or  compulsory  labor  is  prohibited  by  the  1987 
Employment  Act  and  is  not  practiced  in  Lesotho. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

Fourteen  is  the  legal  minimum  age  for  employment  in  commercial 
or  industrial  enterprises.   In  practice,  however,  children 
under  14  may  be  employed  in  family-owned  businesses.   There 
are  prohibitions  against  the  employment  of  working  age  minors 
in  commercial,  industrial,  or  nonfamily  enterprises  involving 
hazardous  or  dangerous  working  conditions.   Basotho  minors 
under  18  years  may  not  be  recruited  for  employment  outside  of 
Lesotho.   Enforcement  of  all  laws  is  lax. 

In  Lesotho's  traditional  society,  life  and  working  conditions 
for  the  country's  young  "herdboys"  tend  to  be  much  more 
rigorous  and  demanding  than  conditions  in  the  modern  sector. 
Their  quasi-pastoral  life,  however,  is  considered  a 
prerequisite  to  eventual  manhood  and  is  a  fundamental  feature 
of  Sotho  life,  tradition,  and  culture. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Lesotho's  1967  Employment  Act  spells  out  basic  worker  rights, 
including  a  45-hour  workweek,  a  weekly  rest  period  of  at  least 
24  hours,  11  to  12  days'  paid  leave  per  year,  and  pay  for 
public  holidays.   Employers  are  required  to  provide  adequate 
light,  ventilation,  and  sanitary  facilities  for  employees,  and 
to  install  and  maintain  machinery  to  minimize  the  risk  of 
injury.   In  practice,  these  regulations  are  generally  followed 
only  within  the  wage  economy,  and  enforcement  mechanisms  are 
weak. 

Wages  in  Lesotho  are  extremely  low.   The  Government,  through 
the  mechanism  of  a  tripartite  wages  advisory  board,  raised 
minimum  wages  in  1989  for  various  types  of  work.   These  ranged 
from  $72  a  month  for  light  unskilled  labor  to  about  $100  per 
month  for  semiskilled  jobs.   The  vast  majority  of  wage  earners 
supplement  their  monthly  income  through  subsistence 
agriculture  and/or  remittances  from  relatives  employed  in 
South  Africa.   Many  employers  in  Lesotho  now  pay  more  than 
minimum  wages  in  an  effort  to  attract  and  retain  motivated 
employees.   Government  salaries  were  raised  in  1988  at  a 
percentage  increase  greater  than  the  1989  increase  for  minimum 
wages.   A  number  of  government  employees  were  dismissed  in 
1989  under  the  Government's  International  Monetary  Fund 
structural  adjustment  program. 

In  collaboration  with  the  ILO,  the  Government  will  begin  a 
3-year  project  in  1990  to  upgrade  its  national  occupational 
and  health  safety  standards.   This  is  a  regional  project  which 
will  also  include  Botswana  and  Swaziland. 


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The  Liberian  Constitution  provides  for  an  American-style 
democratic  system  of  government  and  guaranteed  rights  and 
freedoms  for  the  individual.   However,  in  practice,  Liberia  is 
ruled  by  Samuel  K.  Doe,  who  came  to  power  in  a  coup  d'etat  in 
1980  and  transformed  his  military  regime  to  a  civilian 
government  after  being  elected  President  in  1986  in  elections 
widely  believed  to  have  been  rigged  in  his  favor.   He  and  his 
ruling  party,  the  National  Democratic  Party  of  Liberia  (NDPL) , 
with  strong  backing  from  the  military,  increasingly  dominate 
Liberian  political  life.   Three  opposition  parties  are  legally 
recognized  and  permitted  to  function,  but  they  continue  to 
protest  the  Government's  conduct  of  the  1985  elections  and 
decided  not  to  participate  in  the  1989  by-elections. 

The  army  continues  to  be  a  bulwark  of  the  current 
administration  and  has  major  responsibility  for  internal 
security  functions.   Military  indiscipline  continues  to  result 
in  harassment  of  civilians.   A  small  police  force  is  used  for 
maintaining  domestic  order.   At  the  end  of  the  year,  a  small 
group  of  regime- opponents  crossed  the  Liberian/Cote  d'lvoire 
border  into  Nimba  county,  assassinating  local  officials  and 
killing  unarmed  civilians.   In  responding  to  these  attacks, 
elements  within  the  Armed  Forces  of  Liberia  (AFL)  are  credibly 
reported  to  have  ignored  orders  to  avoid  attacks  on  innocent 
civilians,  an  unknown  number  of  whom  were  killed.   Both 
dissidents  and  AFL  troops  have  largely  concentrated  their 
actions  against  civilian  members  of  ethnic  groups  not  their 
own.   This  conflict  also  resulted  in  tens  of  thousands  of 
Nimba  County  residents  seeking  refuge  in  the  Cote  d'lvoire. 

Liberia's  mixed  economy  is  based  primarily  on  traditional 
agriculture  and  exports  of  iron  ore,  rubber,  and  timber.   It 
continues  to  suffer  from  foreign  exchange  shortages, 
widespread  corruption,  a  heavy  debt  burden,  and  governmental 
mismanagement.   Nonetheless,  in  1989  the  private  sector 
rebounded  after  a  long  decline  that  finally  bottomed  out  in 
1988.   The  modest  recovery  was  due  in  large  part  to  higher 
world  prices  for  Liberia's  two  main  exports,  iron  ore  and 
rubber.   Prospects  for  the  future  of  the  economy  remain 
clouded  by  the  Government's  failure  to  implement  a  meaningful 
structural  reform  program  and  uncertainty  about  export  prices. 

Despite  constitutional  guarantees,  there  were  extensive  human 
rights  violations  in  1989.   In  addition  to  the  year-end 
violence  in  Nimba  county,  major  concerns  included  the  use  of 
arbitrary  arrest  and  detention,  military  and  police  abuse  and 
harassment  of  citizens,  and  tight  restrictions  on  freedom  of 
speech  and  press,  association  and  assembly,  the  right  of 
citizens  to  change  their  government,  and  women's  rights.   Of 
particular  concern  was  the  slow,  steady  erosion  in  press 
freedom.   In  June  the  Government  closed  another  independent 
media  outlet,  the  Catholic  Radio  Station,  ELCM,  which,  alone 
among  the  independents,  had  sometimes  criticized  the 
Government.   Despite  the  success  of  a  joint  government-private 
accreditation  agreement  for  journalists,  the  possibility  of 
further  government  interference  with  the  press  was  raised  by 
the  creation  of  a  government-dominated  Communications 
Commission  with  the  power  to  revoke  media  operating  licenses. 
The  combination  of  government/NDPL  pressures,  which  brought 
opposition  defections  to  the  NDPL,  and  opposition  boycotts  in 
both  the  legislature  and  in  1989  by-elections  moved  Liberia 
closer  to  a  de  facto  one-party  system.   In  these 
circumstances,  the  Elections  Commission  (made  up  of  former 


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hlBE&Ih 

NDPL  members)  has  made  little  effort  to  engage  in  substantive 
dialog  with  opposition  parties  to  meet  their  legitimate 
concerns.   The  leader  and  legal  counsel  of  the  banned  Liberian 
Unification  Party,  William  Kpoleh  and  Ceasar  Mabande,  jailed 
after  a  controversial  trial  in  1988,  remained  in  prison  at  the 
end  of  1989;  at  the  beginning  of  the  year,  the  Supreme  Court 
granted  them  a  new  trial. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1  Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  killings  in 
1989  but  both  dissidents  and  government  forces  killed  innocent 
civilians  in  the  year-end  violence  in  Nimba  County. 
Additionally  at  least  one  person  died  after  a  beating 
administered  by  soldiers,  and  two  persons  died  in  official 
custody  in  suspicious  circumstances  (see  Section  I.e.).   The 
Government  did  not  undertake  any  form  of  official  inquiry  into 
the  circumstances  surrounding  the  deaths  of  Major  General 
Podier,  a  former  vice  head  of  state,  and  several  others 
killed,  allegedly  in  combat,  by  security  forces  in  1988. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  disappearances. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Criminal  suspects  are  treated  harshly  and  often  receive  severe 
beatings  from  the  police.   The  constitutional  rights  of  the 
accused  are  often  ignored.   In  August  several  dozen  people  in 
Nimba  County  were  reported  to  have  been  beaten  and  robbed  by  a 
group  of  soldiers  under  the  direction  of  an  official  of  the 
Ministry  of  Internal  Affairs.   At  least  one  person,  a  woman, 
died  from  the  mistreatment  and  several  others  needed  medical 
attention.   The  beatings  were  allegedly  carried  out  at  the 
behest  of  a  local  clan  chief  as  part  of  an  investigation  into 
alleged  occult  activities  in  the  area.   Although  an 
investigation  found  the  chief  to  be  culpable.  President  Doe 
released  him  at  the  end  of  1989  as  a  result  of  the  incursion 
into  Nimba  County  which  allegedly  lent  credibility  to  his 
claims  of  subversion  in  the  area. 

Prison  conditions,  which  have  long  been  dangerous  to  life  and 
health,  did  not  improve  in  1989.   Cells  are  often  small  and 
without  windows  or  ventilation.   Food,  exercise  opportunities, 
and  sanitary  facilities  are  grossly  inadequate.   The  maximum 
security  prison  at  Belle  Yella  in  remote  Lofa  County  is 
notorious  for  its  harsh  regimen,  including  incommunicado 
detention.   There  have  been  credible  reports,  including  in 
Amnesty  International's  (AI)  1989  Report,  that  a  number  of 
prisoners  have  died  at  Belle  Yella  in  past  years  under 
unexplained  circumstances.   AI  reports  indicate  that  at  the 
Post  Stockade,  a  military  detention  center  in  Monrovia, 
civilian  detainees  have  been  held  illegally  for  months  and 
forced  to  sleep  on  the  floor,  without  bedding,  often  covered 
in  excrement.   In  some  circumstances,  detainees  have  had  to  go 
without  water  and  food  for  several  days.   Although  the 
Constitution  states  that  civilians  may  not  be  confined  in  any 
military  facility,  this  provision  is  frequently  ignored. 


24-flnfi  n_Qn_ 


184 


LlSE&Ih 

Two  defendants  in  the  General  Allison  trial  (see  Section 
I.e.)/  Augustine  Fanga  and  Henry  Walker,  died  in  custody  under 
unexplained  circumstances.   Officials  attributed  their  deaths 
to  their  "poor  health"  on  arrival  at  the  prison. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Although  police  are  supposed  to  have  a  warrant  for  arrest,  and 
persons  should  be  charged  or  released  within  48  hours,  these 
constitutional  provisions  are  frequently  ignored  in  practice, 
particularly  in  cases  involving  alleged  security  threats  or 
violations.   Three  students  were  detained  without  charge  for  2 
weeks  for  attempting  to  revive  a  student  organization  (see 
Section  2.a.).   A  county  superintendent  was  held  without  being 
charged  for  over  a  month  before  being  released  and 
reinstated.   Members  of  a  jury  were  jailed  for  a  few  days  by  a 
judge  in  a  Bong  County  Criminal  Court  for  bringing  in  the 
"wrong"  verdict. 

In  many  cases*  prolonged  detention  of  persons  without  charge 
occurs  as  a  result  of  judicial  inefficiency  and  administrative 
neglect.   Reports  appear  from  time  to  time  that  many  of  those 
in  Liberian  prisons  have  been  "forgotten"  by  the  judicial 
system  and  continue  to  remain  in  prison  although  they  have 
never  been  tried.   In  May  a  local  lawyer  succeeded  in  gaining 
freedom  for  over  30  people  so  detained  in  Monrovia  Central 
Prison.   A  writ  of  habeas  corpus  was  filed  on  behalf  of  a  list 
of  205  persons  alleged  to  have  been  held  without  charge,  some 
for  as  long  as  2  years,  although  some  were  later  found  to  have 
been  released  previously  or  properly  charged.   In  a  series  of 
hearings  before  a  judge,  more  than  30  prisoners  were  ordered 
released  unconditionally  after  it  was  determined  that  they  had 
never  been  properly  charged  in  accordance  with  their 
constitutional  rights.   Reliable  sources  indicate  that  at  the 
same  time,  and  possibly  because  of  this  case,  as  many  as  50 
inmates  of  Monrovia  Central  Prison  were  released  by  prison 
authorities,  because  they  too  had  never  been  charged. 

A  number  of  well-known  Liberians,  such  as  Professor  Amos 
Sawyer,  who  chaired  the  National  Constitutional  Commission  and 
headed  the  now  banned  Liberian  People's  Party,  remained  in 
exile  in  1989,  many  of  them  in  the  United  States.   Human 
rights  organizations  have  pointed  to  the  case  of  Nathaniel 
Nimley  Cholopy,  who,  after  returning  to  Liberia  in  December 
1987,  was  immediately  arrested  and  held  in  incommunicado 
detention  for  almost  a  year  in  both  the  Post  Stockade  and 
Belle  Yella.   He  was  released  uncharged  in  November  1988. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Liberia's  civilian  court  system  is  based  on  Anglo-American 
jurisprudence  and  features  similar  judicial  bodies,  with  the 
Supreme  Court  at  its  apex.   The  Constitution  provides  for 
public  trials  and  states  that  there  shall  be  no  interference 
with  the  lawyer-client  relationship.   Nonetheless,  the 
judicial  system  is  often  subject  to  manipulation,  and  reports 
of  financial  or  political  pressure  on  the  courts  are  common. 
Corruption  in  the  judiciary  has  become  almost 
institutionalized:   bribes  are  often  paid  to  delay  cases 
indefinitely,  thousands  of  which  are  currently  "pending" 
before  the  courts.   Like  government  agencies,  the  judiciary 
suffers  from  a  severe  shortage  of  the  basic  tools  it  needs  to 


185 


LI££EIA 

do  its  work,  such  as  office  supplies,  stenographers,  and 
records  of  precedent  cases. 

Despite  constitutional  provision  for  separation  of  powers,  the 
judiciary  has  a  history  of  succumbing  to  the  wishes  of  the 
executive,  as  in  1987  when  President  Doe  insisted  on,  and 
received,  the  resignation  of  the  entire  Supreme  Court. 
Moreover,  court  orders  are  not  always  implemented  by  executive 
agencies  including  the  military.   In  1988,  when  a  leading 
political  figure  and  nine  other  conspirators  came  to  trial 
before  the  Criminal  Court  in  August,  the  military  authorities 
continued  to  deny  them  access  to  legal  counsel,  in  defiance  of 
a  court  ruling.   In  cases  of  persons  alleged  to  have  been 
improperly  jailed,  prison  authorities  refused  to  transport 
them  to  the  courthouse.   In  many  instances  executive 
authorities  often  demand  fees  for  performance  of  judicial 
duties  such  as  serving  subpoenas,  collecting  witnesses,  and 
executing  warrants. 

Persons  have  the  right  to  legal  counsel  and  to  bail  in 
noncapital  offenses.   Where  the  accused  is  unable  to  secure 
his  own  lawyer,  the  court  is  required  to  provide  legal 
services,  although  a  lack  of  resources  limits  this  practice  to 
those  accused  of  "serious"  offenses.   Litigants  have  the  right 
to  appeal.   Traditional  courts,  presided  over  by  tribal 
chiefs,  are  bound  neither  by  common  law  nor  by  conventional 
judicial  principles;  they  apply  customary  and  unwritten  law  to 
domestic  and  land  disputes  as  well  as  petty  crimes.   These 
decisions  may  be  reviewed  in  the  statutory  court  system  or 
appealed  to  a  hierarchy  of  chiefs.   Administrative  review  by 
the  Ministry  of  Internal  Affairs  and,  in  some  cases,  a  final 
review  by  the  President  may  follow.   Allegations  of  corruption 
and  incompetence  in  the  traditional  courts  are  common. 

Several  prominent  political  figures  convicted  of  statutory 
crimes  remained  in  prison  at  the  end  of  1989.   The  leader  and 
legal  counsel  of  the  banned  Liberia  Unification  Party,  William 
Gabriel  Kpoleh  and  Ceasar  Mabande,  convicted  of  treason  in 
1988  after  a  controversial  trial,  appealed  their  sentences  to 
the  Supreme  Court  and  remained  in  prison  at  year's  end  pending 
the  Court's  decision;  they  have  been  granted,  however,  a  new 
trial. 

In  the  major  trial  of  1989,  a  military  court  sentenced  Defense 
Minister  Gray  D.  Allison  to  death  for  ritual  murder,  although 
at  year's  end  the  sentence  had  not  been  carried  out.   Two  of 
the  10  defendants  died  in  prison  as  a  result  of  lack  of 
medical  attention.   They  had  been  delivered  to  the  prison 
after  having  been  severely  beaten  by  unknown  assailants. 
Allegedly  Allison  and  nine  others  attempted  to  obtain  human 
blood  for  a  witchcraft  ritual  that  would  enable  them  to 
overthrow  President  Doe.   Allison  claimed  that  the  accusations 
were  politically  motivated.   The  trial  did  not  meet 
internationally  accepted  standards  of  fairness,  even  though 
Allison  was  allowed  defense  counsel  of  his  own  choosing,  and 
both  he  and  his  counsel  were  allowed  to  make  lengthy 
statements  to  the  court-martial  board.   The  trial  was  closed 
to  the  public  and  press,  only  edited  transcripts  and 
television  footage  of  court  proceedings  were  released  to  the 
public,  and  questions  were  raised  about  possible  coercion  of 
witnesses . 


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LIBERIA 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

In  1989  the  political  and  military  leadership  took  action 
against  at  least  30  soldiers  accused  of  harassing  or 
mistreating  civilians.   These  included  a  private  who  was 
discharged  for  striking  an  American  citizen  at  a  checkpoint  in 
April,  and  Major  John  Solonteh,  the  Deputy  Provost  for  the 
AFL,  who  was  sentenced  to  a  year  at  hard  labor  for  extorting 
bribes  from  local  businessmen.   The  number  of  disciplinary 
cases  increased  from  1988  to  1989.   Nevertheless,  military 
harassment  and  intimidation  of  civilians  at  checkpoints 
remained  a  continuing  problem  in  1989.   There  were  random 
shakedowns  of  civilians,  including  outside  checkpoints,  and 
occasional  episodes  of  violence.   During  a  municipal  clean-up 
campaign  in  March,  soldiers  were  observed  commandeering 
vehicles,  forcing  people  to  work  at  gunpoint,  and  occasionally 
beating  those  who  resisted.   In  these  instances,  no  action  was 
taken  against  the  soldiers. 

Interference  bycivil  and  military  authorities  in  the  lives  of 
ordinary  citizens  occurs  on  a  wider  scale  in  rural  areas, 
where  local  officials  wield  considerable  power  over  the 
day-to-day  activities  of  citizens  and  proper  police  and 
judicial  procedures  are  even  less  likely  to  be  followed. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

While  the  Constitution  includes  provisions  for  freedom  of 
expression,  including  freedom  of  speech  and  of  the  press  these 
freedoms  were  substantially  set  back  in  1989.   The  Government 
closed  the  major  private  radio  station;  and  two  newspapers 
closed  in  1988  (Footprints  Today  and  The  Sun  Times)  remained 
closed  in  1989.   The  Constitution  also  stipulates  that  persons 
be  held  "fully  responsible  for  the  abuse"  of  these  rights. 
Decree  88a,  passed  by  the  Military  Government  in  1984, 
declares  the  spread  of  "rumors,  lies,  and  disinformation"  to 
be  a  felony.   This  Decree  has  not  been  revoked  or  challenged 
in  court  and  is  therefore  still  in  force.   Government 
authorities  have  not  invoked  the  decree  in  the  past  5  years, 
and  no  one  has  ever  been  convicted  of  violating  it.   However, 
human  rights  activists  point  out  that  this  Decree  has  a 
chilling  effect  on  freedom  of  expression  and  of  the  press  and 
that  the  Government  has  not  needed  to  use  it  to  achieve  its 
objectives. 

The  Liberian  press  practices  self-censorship.   All  media 
refrain  from  direct  attacks  on  the  President  and  certain  other 
senior  government  officials.   As  many  as  five  independent 
newspapers  appeared  in  Monrovia  in  1989,  though  seldom  did 
more  than  four  publish  on  any  given  day.   The  one 
government-owned  newspaper  appears  twice  weekly.   The 
government-controlled  radio  and  television  outlets  dominate 
the  news  and  provide  almost  no  coverage  of  opposition  views, 
despite  constitutional  guarantees  of  access. 

In  1989,  as  in  the  past,  government  harassment  of  journalists, 
ranging  from  scuffles  with  police  and  confiscation  of 
reporter's  film  to  the  overnight  detention  of  one  newspaper 
editor,  continues  to  be  a  constant  theme.   In  a  major 
development,  in  June  the  Ministry  of  Information,  Culture,  and 
Tourism  (MICAT)  shut  down  Catholic  Radio  Station  ELCM  (one  of 
three  independent  radio  stations  in  Liberia)  for  reporting 


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LIBERIA 

that  several  people  had  died  in  a  crowd  stampede  at  a  local 
soccer  stadium.   MICAT  originally  demanded  a  transcript  of  the 
report  and,  when  none  was  forthcoming,  closed  the  station. 
After  some  public  comments  by  Catholic  Archbishop  Michael 
Francis,  President  Doe  made  a  speech  castigating  politically 
active  clerics  and  decreeing  that  the  station  would  remain 
"forever  closed,"  a  decision  the  Church  declined  to  contest. 
Since  the  closing  of  ELCM,  there  has  been  a  marked  decline  in 
the  airing  of  opposition  views  in  either  the  independent  or 
government  broadcast  media.   The  banning  of  ELCM  has  left  two 
religiously  affiliated,  largely  apolitical,  radio  stations: 
the  Sudan  Interior  Mission-sponsored  ELWA  and  Radio  Baha ' i . 

In  practice,  sessions  of  the  Liberian  legislature  remain 
closed  to  the  public,  a  restriction  of  the  constitutional 
right  of  citizens  to  be  informed  about  their  government.   In 
the  waning  days  of  the  1989  legislative  session,  a  bill  was 
passed  creating  a  national  "Communications  Commission"  to 
"monitor  and  control"  the  Liberian  media.   Although  the 
Commission  will  have  a  few  members  representing  private 
entities,  and  all  of  the  Board's  decisions  may  be  appealed  to 
the  courts,  the  independent  press  believes  the  Commission 
could  be  used  as  a  censorship  tool.   The  Board  will  have  the 
power  to  impose  fines  and  revoke  operating  licenses;  its 
members  will  be  presidentially  appointed,  mostly  from  the 
ranks  of  government  officials,  and  its  head  will  be  the 
Minister  of  Posts  and  Telecommunications  (PTT) .   One  of  the 
organizations  to  be  represented  on  the  board,  the  Press  Union 
of  Liberia  (PUL),  has  already  declared  that  it  will  not 
participate  due  to  what  it  considers  to  be  the 
unconstitutional  mandate  of  the  Commission. 

The  PUL  has  been  outspoken  on  a  number  of  media-related  issues 
but  also  has  cooperated  with  the  Government.   An  agreement 
between  the  PUL  and  MICAT  for  the  joint  accreditation  of 
journalists  has  been  in  place  since  May,  and  at  the  end  of  the 
year  there  had  been  no  reported  problems  with  attempts  to 
revoke  or  deny  credentials.   In  May  the  PUL  sponsored  a 
seminar  on  "The  Rule  of  Law  in  a  Democratic  Society"  in  which 
speakers  discussed  frankly  the  need  for  strict  adherence  to 
the  rule  of  law  and  specifically  criticized  the  Government  for 
various  failures  to  do  so. 

Academic  freedom  is  limited.   The  firing  last  year  of  a 
University  of  Liberia  professor  for  political  statements  has 
inhibited  some  other  academics.   All  student  politics  were 
banned  in  1988  by  Executive  Order  Number  Two  of  that  year,  and 
the  ban  on  student  politics  has  been  incorporated  into  the 
University  of  Liberia's  handbook  of  rules  and  regulations. 
Although  technically  that  executive  decree  has  expired,  two 
students  were  suspended  from  the  University  of  Liberia  in 
October,  and  three  students  were  detained  without  charge  for  2 
weeks  for  attempting  to  revive  a  student  organization.   There 
are  no  functioning  student  political  organizations,  and  there 
has  been  virtually  no  open  political  activity  on  the 
University  of  Liberia  campus.   The  Government  initiated  an 
investigation  when  an  NDPL  official  alleged  that  opposition 
United  Peoples  Party  (UPP)  teachers  had  "infiltrated"  the 
schools  in  rural  Rivercess  County  for  political  purposes. 

b.   Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

"The  Constitutional  right  to  peaceful  assembly  and  association 
is  observed  more  often  in  urban  areas  than  in  rural  areas. 
Permits  must  be  acquired  for  public  marches  and 


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demonstrations;  however,  no  political  party  or  other  group 
attempted  to  organize  any  significant  demonstrations  in  1989. 

In  1989  legal  opposition  groups  did  conduct  public  and  private 
meetings  and  other  organizational  activities  in  the  Monrovia 
area  without  interference  from  the  Government.   Freedom  of  the 
opposition  to  organize  and  operate  in  the  rural  areas  is 
largely  dependent  on  the  tolerance  of  local  officials  who  have 
considerable  discretion  in  dealing  with  strictly  local 
issues.   The  opposition  UPP  party  held  several  rallies  in 
rural  areas  in  July,  with  no  immediate  interference  from  the 
Government,  although  some  participants  later  reported 
harassment.   According  to  Human  Rights  Watch,  the  Government 
employs  intermittent  surveillance  of  opposition  figures  and 
the  harassment,  including  arbitrary  detention,  of  many 
political  party  members  to  limit  the  effectiveness  of 
opposition  activity.   The  U.S.  Embassy  has  no  record  of  party 
activists  being  detained  in  1989. 

A  1986  Supreme  Court  ruling  banned  the  "Grand  Coalition,"  an 
ad  hoc  coalition  of  the  three  opposition  political  parties, 
claiming  it  was  not  organized  in  accordance  with  the  Election 
Commission's  (ECOM)  rules.   In  July  1989,  the  heads  of  the 
three  major  opposition  parties  announced  plans  to  hold  a  joint 
meeting,  and  the  elections  commission  declared  that  any  such 
meeting  would  constitute  an  illegal  revival  of  the  banned 
"Grand  Coalition."   President  Doe,  however,  reversed  the  ECOM 
decision,  and  the  meeting  went  ahead  with  no  further 
government  interference.   Leaders  of  the  various  political 
groupings  meet  on  an  informal  basis  without  overt  government 
interference.   Opposition  activists  complain  of  government 
harassment,  including  dismissal  from  employment,  but  some 
prominent  opposition  members  hold  government  jobs.   Civil 
servants  are  not  forced  to  join  the  NDPL,  but  it  is  highly 
advantageous  for  career  advancement. 

The  Government  initiated  in  1988  a  check-off  system  for  party 
dues  to  be  deducted  from  civil  servants'  paychecks,  but 
participation  has  thus  far  been  voluntary  and  erratically 
conducted.   Opposition  politicians  complain  that  the 
Government's  ability  to  award  jobs  and  other  patronage  gives 
the  NDPL  an  unfair  and  unconstitutional  advantage.   The 
opposition  UPP  has  demanded  that  NDPL  organizers  desist  from 
solicitation  of  funds  from  local  businessmen,  an  activity 
prohibited  by  the  Constitution.   ECOM  has  supported  the  UPP 
position,  although  solicitation  may  still  occur  under  other 
guises . 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.   Freedom  of  Religion 

The  Constitution  states  that  freedom  of  religion  is  a 
fundamental  right  of  all  Liberian  citizens,  and  in  practice 
there  are  no  restrictions  on  this  right.   No  religion  has 
preference  over  others,  and  there  is  no  established  state 
religion.   Christianity,  brought  by  19th-century  settlers  and 
spread  through  the  interior  by  missionaries,  has  long  been  the 
religion  of  the  political  and  economic  elite,  and  many  public 
figures  refer  to  the  "Christian  principles"  on  which  Liberia 
was  founded.   The  majority  of  the  rural  population  continues 
to  practice  traditional  religions.   Approximately  25  percent 
of  the  population  is  Muslim.   The  Liberian  Council  of 
Churches,  an  organization  composed  of  most  of  the  Christian 


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LIfi££IA 

denominations  in  Liberia,  occasionally  plays  a  prominent  role 
in  national  affairs. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  Constitution  provides  every  person  the  right  to  move 
freely  throughout  Liberia  and  to  leave  or  enter  the  country  at 
any  time.   Domestic  movement,  however,  is  still  impeded  by  a 
network  of  internal  checkpoints.   The  number  of  such 
checkpoints  decreased  sharply  in  late  1987  but  rose  again  in 
reaction  to  alleged  coup  plots  in  1988  and  large-scale  rice 
smuggling  in  1989.   Police  and  military  personnel  at  these 
checkpoints  routinely  search  vehicles  and  often  solicit  bribes 
from  passengers. 

Exit  visas  are  required  for  all  Liberians  and  most 
non-Liberians  leaving  the  country.   These  are  routinely 
issued.   A  prominent  Liberian  dissident  living  in  the  United 
States  asserted  in  1989  that  the  Government  had  denied  her  a 
passport.   There  were  no  reported  restrictions  on  the  foreign 
travel  of  Liberians  in  1989.   Despite  allegations  by  human 
rights  groups  that  the  Government  maintains  a  "black  list"  of 
persons  who  may  be  denied  permission  to  travel  or  who  may  be 
arrested  upon  their  return,  there  is  no  evidence  of  the 
existence  of  such  a  practice. 

There  are  247  refugees  in  Liberia.   Refugees  are  not  forced  to 
return  to  the  countries  from  which  they  have  fled.   In  a  few 
cases  in  past  years,  however,  the  Government  sought  to  deport 
refugees  who  became  involved  locally  in  political  activities. 
As  a  result  of  year-end  violence  in  Nimba  County,  tens  of 
thousands  of  residents  fled  to  neighboring  countries. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Despite  universal  suffrage  and  constitutional  guarantees  of 
free  and  fair  elections,  there  is  serious  doubt  that  Liberian 
citizens  are  free  in  practice  to  change  their  government 
democratically.   The  only  national  election  since  the  1980 
coup  perpetuated  the  rule  of  President  Doe  and  was  widely 
believed  to  have  been  fraudulent.   The  Liberian  Government  is 
structured  along  the  lines  of  the  American  model,  with  three 
separate  but  theoretically  equal  branches  of  government, 
including  a  bicameral  legislature.   In  practice,  the  executive 
branch,  and  the  President  in  particular,  has  a  preponderant 
share  of  power.   In  recent  years  the  number  of  military  men  in 
government  has  declined,  but  the  military  remains  a  major 
force  in  support  of  the  Doe  Government. 

The  legislature  (26  senate  seats,  62  house  seats)  is  subject 
to  inordinate  executive  influence,  and  lacks  the 
assertiveness,  resources,  and  political  will  to  play  its 
constitutionally  mandated  role  of  coequal  in  governance.   In 
1989  it  passed  a  number  of  executive-sponsored  bills  with 
little  or  no  debate,  confirmed  virtually  all  presidential 
appointments  sent  before  it,  and  failed  to  promote  any 
significant  legislative  initiatives  of  its  own.   The 
executive,  moreover,  regularly  took  budgetary  and  other 
actions  which  the  Constitution  gives  exclusively  to  the 
legislature.   Opposition  parties  formally  continue  to  boycott 
the  legislature.   A  small  number  of  legislators,  elected  in 
1985  on  opposition  tickets,  but  taking  seats  as  independents, 
functions  as  an  informal  opposition  grouping.   Its 


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LIBERlh 

effectiveness  was  undercut  in  1989  due  to  the  death  of  its 
most  prominent  member  and  numerous  defections  to  the  NDPL. 

The  Constitution  provides  for  an  Elections  Commission  to 
monitor  all  political  activities  in  the  country.   The 
elections  law  empowers  the  Commission  to  certify  parties, 
conduct  all  elections,  and  count  election  ballots.   The  five 
commission  members  are  appointed  by  the  executive  for  life  and 
currently  are  all  former  members  of  the  ruling  NDPL.   Citing 
the  widespread  fraud  that  occurred  during  the  1985  elections, 
the  opposition  has  in  the  past  called  for  an  independent 
vote-counting  mechanism.   When  the  deaths  of  two  legislators 
necessitated  by-elections  in  two  counties  in  October  1989,  the 
opposition  UPP  asked  ECOM  to  amend  elections  procedures  as  a 
de  facto  condition  for  participation  in  the  by-elections. 
ECOM  denied  any  need  for  changes,  and  all  opposition  parties 
boycotted  the  by-elections  where  two  NDPL  candidates  ran 
virtually  unopposed. 

The  Constitution  prohibits  creation  of  a  one-party  state. 
Four  political  parties  are  officially  recognized  by  the 
Elections  Commission — the  ruling  NDPL,  the  United  Peoples 
Party  (UPP),  the  Liberia  Action  Party  (LAP),  and  the  Unity 
Party  (UP).   The  level  of  activity  of  the  three  opposition 
parties  varies,  but  in  the  last  2  years  each  held  conventions 
or  other  large  party  gatherings  and  expressed  its  views  freely 
in  the  press  and  at  public  forums.   A  lack  of  financial 
resources  crippled  their  activities,  however,  and  prevented 
the  publication  of  newsletters  on  a  regular  basis.   Although 
the  UPP  expressed  willingness  to  participate  in  electoral 
politics  for  a  few  years  after  the  disputed  election  of  1985, 
and  did  participate  in  one  by-election,  it  abandoned  its 
policy  of  seeking  cooperation  in  late  1988  and  joined  with  the 
other  two  opposition  parties  in  1989  to  boycott  the  1989 
by-elections . 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

In  recent  years  the  Government  has  permitted  representatives 
of  various  organizations,  including  Amnesty  International  (AI) 
and  the  International  Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  (ICRC),  to 
visit  Liberia  and  investigate  alleged  human  rights 
violations.   While  it  did  not  respond  directly  to  inquiries 
from  AI  about  the  conduct  of  General  Allison's  trial,  it 
permitted  a  visit  by  representatives  of  the  Lawyer's  Committee 
for  Human  Rights  at  the  end  of  the  year. 

Although  no  Liberian  organizations  currently  exist  for  the 
express  purpose  of  monitoring  human  rights  developments,  the 
Press  Union  of  Liberia,  the  Liberian  Bar  Association,  and  the 
Liberian  Council  of  Churches  have  spoken  out  on  human  rights 
issues  in  recent  years.   The  Liberian  Red  Cross  routinely 
visits  prison  facilities,  mostly  in  the  Monrovia  area,  and  in 
1988  was  permitted  for  the  first  time  in  recent  memory  to 
carry  medical  and  sanitary  supplies  to  the  isolated  maximum 
security  prison  at  Belle  Yella. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  Constitution  states  that  "only  persons  who  are  Negroes  or 
of  Negro  descent"  shall  qualify  by  birth  or  naturalization  to 
be  citizens  of  Liberia.   The  Constitution  further  states  that 


191 


LIBERIA 

only  Liberian  citizens  can  own  real  property.   These 
provisiTjns  discriminate  against  many  nonblack  residents  who 
were  born  in  Liberia  and  consider  it  their  home.   Otherwise, 
there  is  no  officially  sanctioned  discrimination  on  the  basis 
of  race,  religion,  language,  or  social  status.   However, 
members  of  President  Doe's  Krahn  ethnic  group  hold  a 
disproportionate  share  of  high  posts  in  the  Government  and 
military  and  are  widely  believed  to  receive  preference  in 
competing  for  lower  level  jobs. 

The  status  of  women  varies  by  region,  but  sexual 
discrimination  is  widespread.   In  urban  areas  and  along  the 
coast,  women  can  inherit  land  and  property.   In  interior 
areas,  where  traditional  ties  are  stronger,  a  woman  is 
normally  considered  the  property  of  her  husband  and  his  clan 
and  is  not  usually  entitled  to  inherit  from  her  husband.   In 
newly  urbanized  areas,  many  women  are  subject  to  both 
customary  and  statutory  legal  systems. 

Violence  against  women,  including  wife  beating,  occurs,  but  as 
there  are  no  statistics  available,  the  extent  of  the  problem 
is  not  known.   Police  do  not  normally  intervene  in  domestic 
disputes,  and  cases  rarely  come  before  the  courts.   Female 
circumcision  is  widely  practiced  by  the  majority  of  Liberians 
who  follow  traditional  religions  and  is  tolerated  by 
government  authorities. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

The  Constitution  states  that  workers  have  the  right  to 
associate  in  trade  unions.   Over  20  labor  unions  are 
registered  with  the  Ministry  of  Labor,  representing  roughly  15 
percent  of  the  monetary  sector  work  force.   Ten  national 
unions  are  members  of  the  Liberian  Federatibn  of  Labor  Unions 
(LFLU),  an  affiliate  of  the  International  Confederation  of 
Free  Trade  Unions.   The  Government  does  not  recognize  the 
right  of  civil  servants  or  employees  of  public  corporations  to 
unionize  or  to  strike.   Many  such  employees,  including 
teachers  and  port  workers,  are  represented  by  employee 
associations.   The  American  Federation  of  Labor  and  Congress 
of  Industrial  Organizations  maintains  that  the  invalidation  of 
the  teachers'  union  charter  constituted  government 
interference  with  members  rights  to  establish  organizations  of 
their  own  choosing. 

Although  organized  labor  historically  has  not  had  great 
influence  in  national  politics,  in  recent  years  it  has  begun 
to  assert  itself  on  issues  affecting  workers'  interests. 
During  1989  the  LFLU  was  again  active  in  lobbying  the 
legislature  to  pass  the  new  labor  code.   The  code,  drafted  in 
1986  with  the  cooperation  of  Liberian  unions  and  the 
International  Labor  Organization  (ILO),  would  repeal  PRC 
(military)  Decree  12  outlawing  strikes.   It  had  been  awaiting 
legislative  action  for  3  years.   The  House  passed  the  bill  in 
the  last  week  of  the  1989  session,  and  the  Senate  was 
scheduled  to  take  it  up  early  in  1990.   Labor  unions  are 
constitutionally  prohibited  from  participation  in  party 
politics . 

In  July  the  Supreme  Court  put  an  end  to  a  dispute  over  the 
LFLU's  May  1988  elections  that  had  been  running  for  more  than 
a  year.   The  losing  candidates  in  those  elections  had  appealed 
to  a  civil  magistrate  and  then  to  the  Supreme  Court  in  an 


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LIBERIA 

attempt  to  have  the  election  overruled.   The  Supreme  Court 
eventually  rejected  the  appeal  on  technical  grounds,  leaving 
in  place  the  magistrate's  decision  that  the  matter  was  an 
internal  union  affair  that  the  Government  had  no  reason  to 
judge. 

Promulgated  in  1980,  PRC  Decree  12  outlawing  strikes  and  any 
other  type  of  labor  unrest  is  technically  still  in  effect, 
although  there  were  no  significant  strikes  in  1989  to  test  the 
Government's  December  1988  assertion  that  unions  are  free  to 
strike . 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

With  the  important  exception  of  civil  servants  and  employees 
of  public  corporations,  workers  have  the  right  to  organize  and 
bargain  collectively.   In  contrast  to  1988,  there  were  no 
reports  of  government  interference  in  union  organizing 
activities  in  1989.   The  Government  promotes  union/management 
negotiations  and  sometimes  provides  mediation  for  disputes 
arising  out  of  such  negotiations.   Associations  represent 
worker  interests  with  government  and  management. 

The  ILO  Committee  of  Experts  (COE)  has  noted  that  current 
labor  legislation  provides  insufficient  guarantees  against 
antiunion  discrimination  and  supports  the  passage  of  the  new 
labor  code  as  a  partial  remedy. 

Labor  laws  and  practices  are  applied  uniformly  throughout  the 
country,  including  in  the  unique  export  processing  zone. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

The  Constitution  prohibits  forced  labor,  and  the  practice  is 
firmly  condemned  by  the  Government.   The  COE,  among  others, 
has  raised  questions  abgut  the  degree  of  enforcement  of  that 
prohibition,  especially  on  rural  community  development 
projects.   In  a  broader  context,  the  Government  has  indicated 
that  the  draft  labor  code  will  provide  for  penal  sanctions  in 
cases  of  illegal  use  of  forced  or  community  labor. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  Government  prohibits  employment  of  children  under  the  age 
of  16  during  school  hours.   Enforcement,  which  is  limited,  is 
primarily  aimed  at  the  wage  sector.   There  is  no  enforcement 
for  the  many  children  engaged  in  the  large  subsistence  farming 
sector.   Only  a  minority  of  children  regularly  attend  school. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

The  labor  law  provides  for  a  minimum  wage,  paid  leave, 
severance  benefits,  and  safety  standards.   The  minimum  wage 
for  agricultural  workers  is  approximately  $0.90  cents  per  day 
at  the  unofficial  exchange  rate.   Industrial  workers  generally 
receive  three  or  four  times  this  amount.   The  minimum  wage 
would  not,  by  itself,  be  sufficient  to  insure  an  adequate 
standard  of  living  for  a  worker  and  his  family,  but  many 
families  have  other  sources  of  income  or  receive  support 
through  an  extended  family  system.   The  maximum  hours  of  work 
which  an  employer  can  require  are  8  hours  per  day  or  48  hours 
per  week.   Safety  standards  are  not  rigorously  enforced.   A 
new  national  pension  scheme  was  implemented  in  1988  in  which 
most  workers  and  employers  are  required  to  participate. 


193 


MADAGASCAR 

The  Democratic  Republic  of  Madagascar,  the  fourth  largest 
island  in  the  world,  is  governed  by  a  president  and  a 
parliament  (National  Popular  Assembly),  both  elected  by  direct 
universal  suffrage.   The  President  selects  the  members  of  the 
Supreme  Revolutionary  Council  (SRC),  the  highest  policymaking 
body.   President  Didier  Ratsiraka,  in  power  since  1975,  has 
broad  constitutional  powers,  and  his  position  is  further 
strengthened  by  the  influential  role  of  his  political  party, 
the  Vanguard  of  the  Malagasy  Revolution  (AREMA) ,  which  holds 
an  overwhelming  majority  in  the  National  Popular  Assembly. 
Prior  to  December  1989,  only  the  eight  parties  making  up  the 
National  Front  for  the  Defense  of  the  Revolution  were 
permitted  to  engage  in  political  activity.   The  Front, 
established  in  1976  by  the  Malagasy  Constitution,  was 
conceived  as  a  unifying  framework — a  form  of  single  confederal 
party — for  building  socialism  and  protecting  the  "Socialist 
Revolution"  in  Madagascar  while  allowing  for  party  diversity. 
The  political  orientation  of  the  eight  parties  in  the  National 
Front  ranges  from  moderate  and  pro-Western  to  radical  and 
pro-Soviet.   The  President  and  his  party  gained  major 
victories  in  bitter  1989  elections,  which  resulted  in  further 
sharp  divisions  between  party  leaders  of  the  Front  and  called 
into  question  the  future  of  this  unusual  institution.   As  a 
result  on  December  20  the  National  Assembly  amended  the 
Constitution  to  remove  the  Front's  special  status. 

The  Malagasy  internal  security  system  is  composed  of  the  urban 
police  force  and  the  National  Gendarmerie,  the  latter  having 
jurisdiction  in  the  provinces.   On  occasion,  the  National 
People's  Army  is  also  used  for  internal  security  purposes. 

Agriculture  dominates  the  Malagasy  economy,  employing  some  85 
percent  of  the  population  and  providing  about  80  percent  of 
the  country's  export  earnings.   Since  1982  the  Government, 
with  the  assistance  of  the  International  Monetary  Fund,  began 
to  introduce  a  long-term  austerity  reform  program,  inter  alia, 
to  stimulate  declining  agricultural  production  in  basic 
commodities,  especially  rice.   Despite  some  progress,  economic 
growth  (1.8  percent  in  1988)  has  not  kept  pace  with  population 
growth  (3  percent),  real  incomes  have  declined,  and 
unemployment  remains  high,  especially  among  youth  (60  percent 
of  the  population  is  under  age  25).   As  a  result,  the 
Government's  reform  program  became  a  major  issue  in  the  1989 
presidential  and  parliamentary  elections. 

Although  a  wide  range  of  fundamental  liberties  and  individual 
rights  are  called  for  by  the  Constitution,  there  continued  to 
be  human  rights  abuses  including  extrajudicial  killings  and 
mistreatment  of  prisoners,  significant  restrictions  on 
freedoms  of  speech,  press,  and  assembly,  and  questions  as  to 
the  ability  of  citizens  to  change  their  government  through 
free  and  fair  elections.   However,  in  February  the  President 
did  suspend  censorship  of  the  media.   While  there  were 
numerous  charges  of  voting  irregularities  following  the  hotly 
contested  presidential  race,  which  was  won  by  the  incumbent 
President  with  63  percent  of  the  vote,  these  elections 
probably  were  less  subject  to  manipulation  than  earlier  ones 
due  to  the  monitoring  role  played  by  several  independent 
organizations.   Still,  there  were  large  demonstrations  against 
the  outcome,  which  resulted  in  violent  clashes  with  police. 
Officially,  5  persons  died,  70  were  wounded,  and  64  people 
arrested.   In  1989  the  Government  scaled  back  its  rural 
security  campaign  against  bandits  after  extensive  charges 
emerged  in  1988  of  summary  executions  by  security  forces. 


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RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  have  been  recurring  rumors  of  politically  motivated 
killings  in  recent  years,  but  little  evidence  to  substantiate 
them.   During  a  press  conference  in  August  1989,  the  President 
stated  that  there  had  been  a  bomb  attempt  on  his  life  and  that 
there  had  been  a  plot  to  kill  Monja  Jaona,  an  aging  opposition 
leader,  and  cast  blame  on  the  President.   However,  there  was 
no  known  followup  investigation  of  these  charges. 

In  1988  military  and  police  forces  undertook  a  major  campaign 
to  eradicate  the  well-armed  and  burgeoning  cattle  rustling  and 
banditry  endemic  to  the  southern  areas  of  Madagascar, 
resulting  in  on-the-spot  executions  of  captured  bandits.   In 
July  1988,  Interior  Minister  Ampy  Portos  announced  that  205 
bandits  had  been  killed  in  government-directed  security 
operations.   A  number  of  human  rights  groups,  such  as  Amnesty 
International  (AI),  criticized  the  summary  execution  of 
bandits  by  the  security  forces,  but  there  appeared  to  be  no 
major  domestic  opposition  to  the  government  policy  of  taking 
forceful  actions  against  the  bandits.   However,  in  1989  the 
Government  sharply  reduced  the  scope  of  these  operations, 
although  reports  of  banditry  increased  at  the  end  of  1989.   A 
1989  trial  brought  to  the  surface  allegations  of  military 
involvement  in  cattle  rustling  operations  and  connected  arms 
trafficking  (see  Section  I.e.). 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  known  cases  of  politically  motivated 
disappearance.   However,  press  reports  in  August  1989  raised 
questions  about  the  whereabouts  of  a  university  student  leader 
arrested  in  June  and  detained  at  the  prison  of  Tsiafahy. 
Reportedly,  he  opposed  a  proposed  Government  reform  plan  for 
the  university.   The  student,  Cyrille  Rasambozafy,  may  have 
escaped  in  a  major  prison  break  at  Tsiafahy  in  July.   The 
student's  parents  claim  that  they  have  not  heard  from  him 
since  his  arrest  and  fear  he  may  still  be  held  by  the 
authorities.   The  Government  has  not  responded  in  any  way 
regarding  the  missing  student. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

While  there  were  no  documented  cases  of  physical  torture 
occurring  in  Madagascar,  some  organizations  in  the  security 
apparatus,  notably  the  state  secret  police,  have  a  reputation 
for  ruthless  methods.   There  have  also  been  credible  reports 
that  the  armed  forces  used  torture  in  the  Government's 
campaign  against  outlaw  bandits  in  Madagascar's  southwest. 

Malagasy  prisons  are  increasingly  inhumane  in  terms  of  living 
conditions.   Some  prisoners  are  not  fed  regularly,  hygiene  is 
totally  lacking,  and  medical  care  is  not  provided.   As  a 
result,  prisoners  suffer  a  range  of  medical  problems  from 
malnourishment  and  infections  to  malaria  and  tuberculosis. 
The  death  toll  rises  significantly  among  prisoners  during  the 
cold  winter  months.   The  Minister  of  Justice  has  appealed  for 
foreign  assistance  to  ameliorate  these  conditions  by  making 
prisons  self-supporting  agricultural  and  small  industrial 
units . 


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d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

In  a  normal  criminal  case,  the  accused  must  be  charged  or 
released  within  3  days  after  arrest.   Generally,  defendants  in 
ordinary  criminal  cases  are  charged  formally  within  the 
specified  time  frame  and,  upon  being  charged,  are  allowed  to 
obtain  an  attorney.   Counsel  is  readily  available,  and 
court-appointed  counsel  is  provided  for  indigents. 

Under  Malagasy  law,  persons  suspected  of  activity  against  the 
State  may  be  detained  incommunicado  for  15  days,  subject  to 
indefinite  extension  if  considered  necessary  by  the 
Government.   In  particular,  the  Government  has  held  detainees 
in  security  cases  for  extended  periods,  as  with  37  kung  fu 
adherents  held  from  1985  until  their  trial  and  eventual 
release  in  1988.   (In  1984-85,  these  martial  arts  enthusiasts 
had  been  involved  in  street  fighting  with  a  paramilitary  youth 
group  and  the  army.)   Also,  certain  defendants  involved  in 
coup-plotting  cases  have  been  held  in  pretrial  detention  for 
periods  ranging  from  20  months  to  over  5  years. 

Since  the  release  of  the  kung  fu  defendants,  there  has  been  no 
evidence  of  other  arbitrary  political  detentions.   The 
Government  briefly  detained  a  number  of  persons  after  massive 
demonstrations  held  in  April  to  protest  the  presidential 
electoral  outcome  and  government  economic  policies. 

Exile  has  not  been  used  as  a  means  of  control  in  the  recent 
past. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  Malagasy  Constitution  provides  for  an  independent 
judiciary,  and  in  practice  the  judiciary  seems  to  function  in 
most  cases  vjithout  outside  influence  from  the  executive.   The 
judiciary  has  three  levels  of  courts:   lower  courts  for  civil 
and  criminal  cases  carrying  limited  fines  and  sentences;  a 
court  of  appeals  which  includes  a  criminal  court  for  cases 
bearing  sentences  of  5  years  or  more,  and  a  Supreme  Court. 
The  judiciary  also  has  a  number  of  special  courts  designed  to 
handle  specific  kinds  of  cases  under  the  jurisdiction  of  the 
higher  courts.   A  Constitutional  High  Court,  with  a  totally 
separate  and  autonomous  status,  may  review  the 
constitutionality  of  laws,  decrees,  and  ordinances  and  ensures 
the  legality  of  elections. 

A  Military  Court  has  jurisdiction  over  all  cases  involving 
national  security.   The  definition  of  national  security  is 
largely  a  matter  of  interpretation  by  the  authorities  but 
includes  acts  constituting  a  threat  to  the  nation  and  its 
political  leaders,  invasion  by  foreign  forces,  and  riots  that 
could  lead  to  an  overthrow  of  the  Government.   In  exceptional 
cases,  civilians  may  be  tried  in  the  Military  Court  if  they 
are  charged  with  having  broken  military  laws. 

Military  courts,  like  civilian  courts,  provide  for  an  appeals 
process.   Furthermore,  military  courts  are  presided  over  by  a 
civilian  magistrate.   The  rank  of  the  four  military  officers 
comprising  the  court  is  determined  by  the  rank  of  the  accused. 

In  1989  two  bandits  accused  of  the  mass-murder  of  11  persons 
for  the  proceeds  from  a  cattle  sale  were  tried  and  sentenced 
to  death  by  a  military  court.   While  the  death  penalty  is 


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legal  in  Madagascar,  it  has  not  been  carried  out  since  1947. 
The  particular  viciousness  of  this  crime  and  the  popular 
outrage  it  evoked  may  result  in  these  death  sentences  being 
carried  out.   The  trial,  known  as  the  "keliberano  affair," 
also  brought  to  the  surface  allegations  of  military 
involvement  in  cattle  rustling  operations  and  connected  arms 
trafficking.   The  presiding  judge  called  for  an  investigation 
and  a  hearing  on  these  charges.   On  November  15  the  court  of 
Fianarantsoa  rendered  light  sentences  of  6  months  to  a  year 
for  those  involved  in  supplying  the  weapons  used  in  the 
keliberano  killings. 

There  are  currently  no  known  political  prisoners  in  Madagascar. 

f .   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  State  does  not  generally  intervene  in  nonpolitical  aspects 
of  the  lives  of  the  people.   The  home  is  traditionally 
inviolable  under  Malagasy  law.   However  in  December  1989, 
Article  42  of  the  Constitution  was  amended  to  permit 
authorities  to  enter  the  home  in  cases  of  persons  caught  in 
the  act  or  where  the  occupants  explicitly  consent  to  a 
search.   In  their  suppression  of  cattle  rustlers  and  bandits 
the  military  have  entered  some  homes  without  court  orders  and 
ransacked  them. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

These  freedoms  remain  significantly  restricted  despite  the 
loosening  of  press  censorship.   Private  citizens  who  criticize 
government  officials  or  policies  must  choose  their  words 
carefully;  direct  criticism  of  the  President  or  the  "Socialist 
Revolution"  is  not  tolerated. 

The  broadcast  media  are  under  state  control  and  provide 
positive  coverage  of  the  Government's  activities.   While  the 
opposition  received  some  coverage  in  the  presidential  and 
legislative  elections  of  1989,  many  observers  felt  that  it  was 
dwarfed  by  the  nightly  reports  on  the  activities  of  the 
President  and  his  AREMA  Party. 

In  past  years,  the  Ministry  of  Interior  has  reviewed  and 
censored  the  content  of  newspapers  prior  to  printing.   On 
February  19,  1989,  the  President  suspended  censorship 
restrictions  on  the  print  media,  and  journalists  have 
cautiously  been  testing  their  newfound  freedom.   To  become 
permanent,  this  suspension  still  requires  passage  of  a  law  by 
the  National  Assembly.   Thus,  there  is  a  moratorium  on 
censorship,  and  the  President's  ability  to  restore  controls  at 
a  moment's  notice  continues  to  moderate  press  criticism  and 
comment  of  Government  policies.   The  press,  in  contrast  to 
television  and  radio,  did  give  broad  coverage  to  the  election 
campaigns  and  related  demonstrations. 

In  1988  the  Government  allowed  previously  barred  journalists 
from  a  foreign  newspaper  to  visit  Madagascar,  and  it  lifted  an 
8-year-old  ban  on  the  Paris-based  weekly  Jeune  Afrique.   There 
is  one  government-owned  newspaper  and  two  major  independent 
dailies.   Several  other  dailies  and  weeklies  are  published  by 
party  groups  and  independent  publishers,  including  the 
outspoken  and  candid  Catholic  newspaper,  Lakroa. 


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Academic  freedom  is  restricted  by  a  constitutional  prohibition 
on  any  public  lectures  or  teachings  which  condemn  Madagascar's 
Charter  of  the  Socialist  Revolution. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  rights  of  assembly  and  association  are  restricted. 
Permits  are  required  to  hold  public  meetings  and  can  be  denied 
by  the  Government  if  officials  believe  that  the  meeting  poses 
a  threat  to  the  State  or  endangers  national  security.   Those 
denied  a  permit  can  appeal  these  decisions  before  the 
administrative  chamber  of  the  Supreme  Court.   Persons  and 
groups  belonging  to  parties  of  the  National  Front  are 
permitted  to  organize  and  assemble.   Nevertheless,  since 
political  activity  by  groups  outside  the  National  Front  was 
prohibited,  dissenting  political  opinion  has  been  limited.   In 
1988  the  Government  banned  an  organization  affiliated  with  the 
Catholic  Church  (the  CEADAM)  from  holding  a  national  political 
debate  on  the  state  and  future  of  the  nation. 

Madagascar's  campuses  continue  to  constitute  a  major  source  of 
instability  for  the  Government.   The  range  of  problems  runs 
from  inadequate  finances  and  logistics  to  overcrowding,  ethnic 
tensions,  and  squatters.   While  the  widespread  student  unrest 
which  took  place  in  1987  has  not  recurred,  the  University  of 
Antananarivo  campus  became  the  site  for  popular  demonstrations 
against  President  Ratsiraka's  reelection  in  April  1989. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

The  Government  is  secular,  and  there  is  ho  official  religion. 
There  is  no  discrimination  on  the  basis  of  religious 
affiliation,  and  people  are  free  to  follow  the  faith  of  their 
choice.   Over  half  of  the  population  is  Christian,  with  the 
remainder  following  traditional  Malagasy  religious  beliefs  or 
other  faiths.   Missionaries  and  clergy  are  generally  permitted 
to  operate  freely. 

During  the  visit  of  Pope  John  Paul  II  to  Madagascar  in  late 
April,  several  days  of  violent  political  demonstrations, 
protesting  the  presidential  election  results,  were  suspended 
by  the  opposition  to  ensure  a  peaceful  visit. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Officially  there  is  no  restriction  on  travel  within  the 
country.   However,  since  May  1988,  the  start  of  the  campaign 
to  eradicate  cattle  rustling,  villagers  in  the  southwest 
reportedly  must  get  permission  to  leave  their  villages.   For 
all  Malagasy,  official  approval  must  be  obtained  for  trips 
outside  the  country.   Foreign  travel  is  impeded  by  the 
difficulty  of  obtaining  foreign  currency.   The  Malagasy  franc 
is  not  convertible  abroad,  and  the  Government  limits  the 
amount  of  hard  currency  that  can  be  obtained  for  foreign 
travel.   There  is  no  refugee  population  in  Madagascar. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  right  of  citizens  to  change  their  government  was  called 
into  question  by  widespread  allegations  of  fraud  in  the 


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•   MADAGASCAR 

presidential  elections.   Moreover,  the  electorate's  choice  had 
been  constrained  by  the  nature  of  the  political  system  since, 
prior  to  December  20,  1989,  the  only  political  parties  allowed 
to  operate  had  to  be  members  of  the  National  Front.   The 
situation  is,  however,  expected  to  change  when  new 
implementing  decrees  are  elaborated  to  define  political 
activity  outside  the  Front  (see  below).   The  electoral  process 
provides  the  voters  a  chance  to  choose  among  candidates 
expressing  differing  views  in  local  and  regional  elections,  as 
well  as  in  the  parliamentary  and  presidential  campaigns.   The 
137  members  of  the  National  Popular  Assembly  are  elected  by 
universal  suffrage  for  5-year  terms.   The  President  is  elected 
to  a  7-year  term.   The  President's  party  has  total  political 
control  of  the  apparatus  of  government.   This  is  partly  due  to 
political  apathy  and  a  sense  of  defeatism  as  expressed  in 
increasing  voter  absenteeism  which  reached  over  50  percent  in 
the  last  round  of  local  elections.   The  President  controls  all 
major  policy  decisions.   Most  legislation  is  initiated  by  the 
executive  branch. 

On  March  12,  1989,  some  4.7  million  Malagasy  went  to  the  polls 
to  choose  from  among  four  presidential  candidates.   According 
to  the  official  results,  pronounced  a  month  later  by  the 
Constitutional  High  Court,  President  Ratsiraka  won  a  third 
consecutive  7-year  term  with  an  absolute  majority  of  63 
percent  of  the  votes  cast.   There  was  widespread 
dissatisfaction  with  this  outcome.   Opposition  leaders  claimed 
fraud  and  organized  rallies  protesting  the  election  results, 
violent  demonstrations  erupted  and  claimed  four  or  five 
lives.   The  election  results  were  subsequently  contested  in 
the  Constitutional  High  Court,  which  sustained  voter 
irregularity  appeals  in  43  cases  of  the  several  hundred 
brought  before  it.   Most  of  the  challenges  were  denied  on 
technical  grounds  (e.g.,  improper  filing  procedures).   The  May 
28  legislative  elections  reinforced  the  President's  hand  as 
his  AREMA  Party  consolidated  its  already  preponderant  hold  on 
the  Assembly  with  a  120-seat  victory.   The  legislative 
elections  were  peaceful.   However,  due  to  widespread  voter 
dissatisfaction  as  evidenced  in  the  earlier  presidential 
elections,  there  was  a  low  voter  turnout.   In  September  local 
government  elections  were  marked  by  an  even  lower  voter 
turnout  and  led  to  further  AREMA  party  consolidation. 

On  December  20,  1989,  the  National  Assembly  amended  the 
Constitution.   Tt  rescinded  Articles  9  and  29  concerning  the 
Front  which  results  in  this  institution  no  longer  being  an 
official  institution  of  the  Malagasy  Government  but  rather  a 
simple  alliance  of  parties  which  support  the  President  and  his 
Socialist  policies.   New  parties  may  also  now  apply  to  join 
the  Front.   Furthermore,  an  amendment  to  Article  8  allows  for 
opposition  parties  to  exist  outside  the  Front.   However, 
opposition  parties  must  not  have  as  their  objective  the 
undermining  of  the  unity  of  the  nation  or  as  their  platform  a 
separatist  ethnic,  tribal,  or  religious  character.   Moreover, 
a  revised  Articie  16  states  that  opposition  parties  cannot 
oppose  Malagasy  socialism  by  illegal  or  violent  means. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongoverrunental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  has  not  officially  cooperated  with  groups, 
either  externally  or  internally  based,  wishing  to  investigate 
alleged  human  rights  violations  and  has  denied  visas  to  AI 
representatives.   In  1989  the  President  ruled  out  the 


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suggestion  that  international  observers  be  present  at  the 
polls  on  March  12,  saying  that  the  Malagasy  are  quite  capable 
of  managing  their  own  electoral  affairs.   Originally,  the 
Union  of  Malagasy  Opposition  in  Exile  (based  in  Paris)  made  a 
public  call  in  1988  for  the  presidential  elections  to  be 
overseen  by  U.N.  observers. 

Human  rights  organizations  are  considered  to  be  political 
groups  under  Malagasy  law  and  must  therefore  be  sponsored  by 
one  of  the  parties  belonging  to  the  National  Front.   Under 
these  circumstances,  only  one  human  rights  organization  is 
currently  operating  in  Madagascar:   The  Malagasy  National 
Committee  for  the  Defense  of  Human  Rights  which  was  founded  in 
1988  and  is  affiliated  with  the  VITM  Party,  one  of  the  smaller 
parties.   Some  of  its  members  are  also  on  the  National 
Committee  for  Election  Observation  which  monitored 
electioneering  in  1989. 

The  Christian  churches  in  the  country  have  taken  the  lead  in 
advocating  human  rights  and  play  an  important  supplementary 
role  in  monitoring  human  rights  concerns.   The  Christian 
Council  of  Churches  in  Madagascar  (FFKM)  is  a  major 
organization  in  this  regard.   In  February  1988,  the  FFKM 
monitored  the  celebrated  kung-fu  trial  to  assure  that  due 
process  was  provided  to  the  245  accused.   It  also  provided 
lodging  and  food  for  the  defendants.   In  1989  this 
organization  provided  a  monitoring  role,  where  possible,  in 
the  presidential  and  legislative  elections.   It  also 
publicized  and  condemned  tho.se  irregularities  which  it 
witnessed. 

Madagascar  is  a  member  of  the  United  Nations  Human  P.ights 
Commission. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Madagascar  is  inhabited  by  an  estimated  10.3  million  people  of 
both  Malayo-Polynesian  and  African  origin.   While  there 
appears  to  be  no  customary  practice  of  institutional  or 
systematic  discrimination  on  the  basis  of  ethnic  grouping  in 
Madagascar,  a  serious  outbreak  of  violence  and  plunder  of 
Indo-Pakistani-owned  property  occurred  across  Madagascar  in 
March  1987.   This  prosperous  community,  estimated  at  some 
24,000  persons  of  Indo-Pakistani  origin  and  referred  to 
locally  as  "karana,"  is  primarily  engaged  in  commerce.   While 
no  Indo-Pakistanis  died  in  these  riots,  several  looters  were 
killed,  many  were  wounded,  and  property  damage  was  great.   The 
simultaneous  outbreak  of  these  riots  in  cities  across  the 
island  and  the  relative  absence  of  damage  outside  the 
Indo-Pakistani  community  gave  rise  to  some  speculation  that 
these  incidents  had  been  carefully  coordinated  and  organized 
by  the  Government.   The  Chinese  and  French  communities  also 
have  experienced  some  resentment  from  the  Malagasy,  mainly 
because  of  their  success  in  commerce. 

Women  have  traditionally  played  a  prominent  role  in  the 
business  and  economic  life  of  the  country,  with  many  of  them 
managing  or  owning  business  concerns  or  filling  management 
positions  in  state  industries.   Education  at  all  levels  is 
open  to  women.   However,  women  in  rural  areas  and  among  the 
urban  poor  face  a  greater  degree  of  hardship.   In  addition  to 
the  responsibilities  associated  with  raising  a  family,  the 
realities  of  subsistence  agriculture  force  these  women  to 
engage  in  farm  labor  and  related  activities. 


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While  women  are  not  discriminated  against  in  the  workplace, 
discrimination  does  exist  in  marriage  and  property  rights.   In 
the  case  of  divorce  or  the  death  of  the  husband,  the  wife 
inherits  only  one-third  of  their  joint  wealth.   On  the  other 
hand,  the  wife  receives  a  pension  if  her  husband  dies,  but  the 
reverse  is  not  true.   Women's  rights  groups  do  not  exist,  but 
groups  of  professional  women  and  women  within  the  political 
parties  are  working  to  change  these  aspects  of  family  law.   On 
December  12,  1988,  Madagascar  became  a  signatory  of  the  U.N. 
Charter  on  Eliminating  Discrimination  Towards  Women. 

According  to  various  sources,  including  magistrates, 
journalists,  and  women  doctors,  violence  against  women,  such 
as  wife  beating,  is  not  widespread,  and  neither  the  Government 
nor  party  womens '  organizations  have  addressed  this  issue 
specifically.   The  society  frowns  on  marital  confrontation. 
Married  couples  generally  prefer  to  avoid  divorce  and,  if 
necessary,  to  live  separate  lives  under  one  roof.   In  very  few 
divorce  cases  is  there  an  allegation  of  physical  abuse  that 
could  be  construed  as  wife  beating.   In  the  rare  cases  where 
this  condition  is  detected,  police  and  legal  authorities  do 
intervene.   However,  there  is  no  law  dealing  specifically  with 
violence  against  women.   Female  circumcision  is  not  practiced 
in  Madagascar. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

The  Malagasy  have  the  right  to  establish  and  join  labor 
unions.   However,  the  labor  force  of  4.9  million  is  mostly 
agrarian  (85  percent),  and  unionized  labor  accounts  for  less 
than  5  percent  of  the  total.   Seven  of  the  national  labor 
organizations  in  existence  are  affiliated  with  the  eight 
political  parties  within  the  National  Front  for  the  Defense  of 
the  Revolution.   Two  independent  unions  in  1979  signed  a 
protocol  of  agreement  with  the  dominant  political  union 
belonging  to  the  President's  party,  pledging  support  for  the 
Malagasy  "Socialist  Revolution."   The  primary  focus  of  the 
unions  is  party  politics,  and  they  are  usually  active  only 
during  election  campaigns.   Overall,  labor  unions  play  an 
insignificant  role  in  national  life. 

Public  servants  may  not  form  independent  trade  unions  but  may 
join  "Malagasy  Revolutionary  Organizations"  (ORM's)  under  the 
supervision  of  the  Government.   Under  the  Charter  of  Socialist 
Undertakings  of  1978  workers'  committees  are  established,  but 
preferential  access  to  these  is  extended  to  the  members  of 
trade  unions  belonging  to  one  of  the  ORM's  of  the  National 
Front  for  the  Defense  of  the  Revolution.   In  1989  the 
Committee  of  Experts  of  the  International  Labor  Organization 
(ILO)  asked  the  Government  to  take  appropriate  measures  to 
ensure  that  public  servants  can  establish  organizations 
without  prior  authorization  or  other  restrictions.   It  also 
asked  the  Government  to  introduce  legislation  explicitly 
guaranteeing  the  trade  union  rights  of  seafarers. 

Workers  have  the  right  to  strike,  but  in  reality,  strikes  in 
Madagascar  are  a  rarity  because  of  the  severe  unemployment 
problem  and  the  politicization  of  the  labor  federations. 
However,  there  are  occasional  wildcat  strikes.   In  these,  the 
Government  generally  sides  with  management  for  the  restoration 
of  order.   The  Labor  Code,  which  covers  all  workers  except 
civil  servants  and  merchant  marine  employees,  prescribes  an 
arbitration  procedure  which  must  be  followed  in 


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labor/management  disputes.   Should  this  procedure  not  lead  to 
a  settlement,  workers  individually,  or  as  represented  by  a 
union,  may  call  a  strike. 

In  1989  the  SECES,  a  labor  union  comprised  of  university 
professors  and  researchers,  went  on  a  major  strike  over  its 
dissatisfaction  with  general  working  conditions  at  the 
nation's  six  universities.   It  used  the  withholding  of 
examination  results  from  students  as  leverage  in  its  dealings 
with  Ministry  of  Higher  Education  officials.   On  August  26,  a 
communique  issued  by  the  SECES  explained  that  the  freeze  on 
examination  results  had  been  lifted  because  some  of  its 
demands  had  been  met. 

Several  of  the  unions  are  members  of  the  Communist-controlled 
World  Federation  of  Trade  Unions  or  of  the  World  Confederation 
of  Labor.   One  union,  the  Confederation  of  Malagasy  Workers, 
has  links  with  the  International  Confederation  of  Free  Trade 
Unions . 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Union  activity  is  governed  by  the  Malagasy  Labor  Code  of  May 
18,  1975,  which  guarantees  free  unions  and  the  right  to 
bargain  collectively.   Article  4  of  the  Labor  Code  formally 
prohibits  antiunion  discrimination  by  employers  against  union 
members  and  organizers.   According  to  Article  132  of  the  Labor 
Code,  collective  bargaining  may  be  undertaken  between 
management  and  labor  at  either  party's  behest.   When  there  is 
failure  to  reach  agreement,  the  Ministry  of  Labor  convenes  a 
nonconciliation  committee  which  attempts  to  resolve 
differences.   If  this  process  fails,  the  committee  refers  the 
matter  to  the  chairman  of  the  First  Circuit  Court  for  final 
arbitration. 

There  are  no  export  processing  zones  in  Madagascar,  although 
legislation  providing  for  such  zones  was  approved  by  the 
National  Popular  Assembly  at  the  end  of  1989. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Forced  labor  is  explicitly  prohibited  by  Article  2  of  the 
Malagasy  Labor  Code.   There  is  no  forced  or  compulsory  labor 
in  Madagascar  within  the  definition  set  forth  by  the  ILO. 
Madagascar  is  a  signatory  to  ILO  Convention  29  prohibiting 
forced  labor. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  Malagasy  Labor  Code  describes  a  child  as  any  person, 
regardless  of  gender,  under  the  age  of  18.   The  minimum  age 
for  employment  is  14,  but  the  use  of  child  labor  is  prohibited 
in  those  areas  where  there  is  apparent  and  imminent  danger. 
The  Government  enforces  these  child  labor  laws  in  the  small 
wage  sector  through  the  Ministry  of  Civil  Service,  Labor,  and 
Social  Law.   However,  in  the  large  subsistence  agricultural 
sector  many  young  children  work  with  their  parents  on  family 
farms  at  much  earlier  ages.   Similarly,  in  the  urban  areas 
many  children  earn  a  living  as  parking  attendants,  newspaper 
vendors,  etc. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

The  Malagasy  Labor  Code  and  its  enforcing  legislation  describe 
the  working  conditions  for  employees.   Malagasy  law 


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distinguishes  between  agricultural  and  nonagricultural  work. 
There  is  a  44-hour  workweek  in  nonagricultural  and  service 
industries.   There  are  also  provisions  for  holiday  pay,  sick 
and  maternity  leave,  and  insurance.   There  are  several  minimum 
wage  rates  in  Madagascar  according  to  categories  of  work.   The 
lowest  (for  unskilled  workers)  is  approximately  $20  per  month 
and  is  inadequate  to  ensure  a  decent  standard  of  living. 
Accordingly,  most  workers  must  supplement  their  incomes 
through  subsistence  agriculture  or  reliance  on  the  extended 
family  structure. 

The  Labor  Code  has  rules  concerning  building  safety,  machinery 
and  moving  engines,  operational  safety,  and  sanitation 
standards.   It  appears  that,  in  practice,  the  rules  and 
regulations  of  the  Code  are  adhered  to  by  employers  and  are 
enforced  by  the  authorities.   Labor  inspectors  from  the 
Ministry  of  Civil  Service,  Labor,  and  Social  Law  carry  out 
regular  visits  to  industrial  work  sites.   Violations  of 
safety,  sanitary,  operational,  and  other  Work  Code  laws  are 
the  subject  of  reports  by  these  inspectors.   If  the  violations 
are  not  remedied  within  a  specified  time  frame,  the  violators 
are  legally  charged  and  subject  to  various  penalties. 


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Virtually  every  aspect   of  Malawi's  first  25  years  of 
independence — political,  economic,  and  social — has  been 
dominated  by  Dr.  H.  Kamuzu  Banda,  who  led  the  country  to 
independence  in  1964  and  was  proclaimed  "Life  President"  in 
1970.   The  sole  legal  party  is  the  Malawi  Congress  Party 
(MCP) ,  to  whose  Central  Committee  the  Cabinet  and  Parliament 
are  subordinate.   Only  candidates  selected  by  the  MCP  and 
approved  by  the  President  are  allowed  to  run  in  parliamentary 
elections,  last  held  in  1987.   Constitutional  amendments  and 
laws  passed  by  the  Parliament  mirror  decisions  already  taken 
by  the  President  and  his  close  advisers. 

Military,  police,  and  party  security  organs  closely  monitor  a 
wide  range  of  activities,  particularly  opposition  to  the 
Government . 

Malawi,  a  small,  densely  populated,  landlocked  country  with 
few  exploitable  resources  and  a  high  population  growth  rate, 
possesses  no  significant  mineral  resources  or  industrial 
sector.   It  is  heavily  dependent  on  agriculture  for  export 
earnings  and  employment.   Sound  agricultural  policies  have 
produced  a  food  surplus,  despite  an  influx  of  800,000  refugees 
in  recent  years,  high  transportation  costs  resulting  from 
closure  of  the  rail  routes  through  Mozambique  (owing  primarily 
to  the  Mozambican  civil  war),  and  earthquakes  and  floods  in 
1989.   Its  fiscally  sound  policies  have  enabled  it  to  qualify 
for  special  International  Monetary  Fund  assistance. 

Malawi's  human  rights  performance  is  the  reverse  of  its 
economic  achievements  and  its  exemplary  handling  of  one  of  the 
world's  largest  refugee  feeding  programs.   In  1989  the 
observance  of  human  rights  deteriorated  as  a  leading  political 
dissident  was  murdered,  and  arbitrary  detention  continued  to 
be  used  to  suppress  any  sign  of  dissent.   Other  major  abuses 
included:   mistreatment  of  prisoners  and  life-threatening 
conditions  in  prisons;  lack  of  fair  trials;  interference  with 
privacy;  severe  restrictions  on  freedom  of  speech  and  press, 
assembly  and  association,  and  the  right  of  citizens  to  change 
their  government;  and  serious  discrimination  against 
northerners . 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

Some  human  rights  organizations  claim  that  a  journalist  named 
Osborne  Mkandawire  died  in  prison  in  November  1988.   After 
extensive  research,  the  U.S.  Embassy  was  unable  to  identify 
such  a  person,  although  a  retired  journalist  named  Mkandawire 
did  die  of  natural  causes  in  his  native  village.   In  another 
incident,  Fred  Sikwese,  a  Ministry  of  External  Affairs 
officer,  was  detained  in  February  1989,  reportedly  for 
espionage  or  embezzlement.   He  died  the  following  month. 
Amnesty  International  (AI)  alleges  torture.   Government 
sources  claim  natural  causes  but  denied  the  family  access  to 
Sikwese 's  body. 

Dissident  Mkwapatira  Mhango,  Publicity  Secretary  of  the 
Malawian  Freedom  Movement  (MAFREMO) ,  and  most  of  his  family 
were  murdered  on  October  13  when  his  home  in  Lusaka,  Zambia, 
was  firebombed.   It  followed  by  a  few  weeks  President  Banda 's 
public  complaint  that  Mhango  was  among  those  responsible  for 


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an  alleged  foreign  press  campaign  against  the  official 
hostess,  C.  T.  Kadzamira.   This,  and  the  fact  that  an  earlier 
dissident  leader  was  murdered  in  Harare  in  1983  following 
similar  criticism  from  the  President,  led  many  to  believe  that 
the  act  was  directed  by  Malawian  authorities.   The  Zambian 
Government's  investigation  has  not  been  conclusive,  and 
allegations  continued  to  circulate.   Before  he  died,  Mhango 
told  a  reporter  that  the  real  target  may  have  been  Edward  R. 
Chirwa  Yapwanthwa,  MAFREMO  chairman,  who  planned  to  slip  into 
Malawi  clandestinely  and  had  been  staying  at  Mhango ' s  home. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  known  political  disappearances. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Beatings  by  police  during  arrest  or  detention  are  illegal  but 
occur.   Responsible  officials  are  rarely  disciplined.   Terms 
of  hard  labor  are  the  norm  for  common  criminals.   AI ' s  1989 
Report  focuses  on  harsh  conditions  in  several  prisons.   AI 
also  reported  a  number  of  deaths  in  Nsanje  and  Dzeleka  Prisons. 

In  1987  Orton  and  Vera  Chirwa  were  transferred  from  Mikuyu 
prison  to  Zomba  Central  Prison  where  conditions  were 
reportedly  worse.   Margaret  Marango  Banda,  an  Anglican  women's 
leader  (and  Aleke  Banda ' s  cousin--see  below)  who  was  detained 
that  same  year,  is  imprisoned  with  Vera  Chirwa.   They  are  not 
permitted  to  speak  with  one  another  and  are  denied  access  to 
visiting  clergy.   Their  diet  is  insufficient,  and  Ms.  Banda  is 
believed  to  be  in  poor  health  with  inadequate  medical 
attention.   The  Chirwas  have  not  been  able  to  speak  with  one 
another  for  at  least  4  years  and  are  not  allowed  to  receive 
mail  from  their  children. 

Frackson  Zgambo,  an  airport  official  and  football  referee,  was 
detained  with  Fred  Sikwese.   While  there  have  been  reports  of 
his  death,  Zgambo  is  believed  to  be  under  detention  in  Mikuyu 
Prison. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Under  the  Preservation  of  Public  Security  Act,  the  Minister  of 
Justice  (a  position  held  by  President  Banda)  may  order  the 
arrest,  search,  and  detention  of  persons  considered  a  threat 
to  the  preservation  of  public  order.   The  Act  was  amended  in 
1977  to  eliminate  a  30-day  limit.   Persons  arrested  under  this 
law  can  be,  and  often  are,  detained  indefinitely  without 
charge  and  without  trial.   The  President  must  review  such 
cases  every  6  months,  but  this  safeguard  has  had  no  noticeable 
effect . 

Still  in  detention  at  the  end  of  1989  were:   Brown 
Mpinganjira,  Deputy  Chief  of  Information,  detained  in  1986  for 
providing  information  to  foreign  journalists;  Dr.  Goodluck 
Mhango,  a  veterinary  surgeon  with  the  Malawi  Young  Pioneers, 
detained  in  September  1987  because  his  brother  (killed  in 
1989)  wrote  articles  critical  of  the  Government;  Jack  Mapanje, 
a  prominent  professor  and  poet,  also  detained  in  September 
1987  for  planning  to  publish  a  volume  of  poetry  deemed 
critical  of  the  President;  Mr.  Mbeye,  a  senior  Ministry  of 
Finance  official,  detained  in  August  1988,  reportedly  for 
revealing  to  the  foreign  press  the  cost  of  a  presidential  trip 
to  Great  Britain;  Dr.  George  Mtafu,  Malawi's  only  native 
neurosurgeon,  arrested  in  early  1989  after  making  a 
disparaging  remark  in  a  private  gathering  about  the  condition 


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of  the  aging  President's  brain.   Kalusa  Chimombo,  a  prominent 
member  of  the  teachers'  association  of  Malawi  before  his 
arrest  in  1978,  remains  imprisoned  as  the  country's  longest 
serving  "prisoner  of  conscience,"  according  to  AI . 

Other  persons  detained  in  early  1989  for  unknown  reasons 
included:   Tozer  Khonje,  a  government  agronomist;  Dave  Mumba, 
an  employee  of  a  private  company;  and  George  Thindwa,  an 
employee  of  the  Ministry  of  Trade  and  Industry.   Mtafu, 
Khonje,  and  Thindwa  may  have  been  victims  of  an  antinorthern 
campaign  (see  Section  5).   Aleke  Banda,  once  a  presidential 
confidant  and  high-ranking  official,  was  quietly  released  from 
Mikuyu  Prison  in  late  1988  and  is  currently  under  house  arrest 
nearby.   Detained  in  1980,  Banda  has  never  been  charged. 

AI  estimates  that  at  least  30  persons  were  detained  in  the 
first  half  of  1989.   Although  Malawian  secrecy  makes  an 
accurate  estimate  impossible,  most  observers  consider  this  is 
a  reliable  estimate.   Detentions  continued,  albeit  at  a 
reduced  rate,  late  into  the  year.   While  forced  exile  has  not 
been  used  as  means  of  control,  there  is  a  small  politically 
motivated  outward  flow  of  persons  from  the  country.   In  late 
1988,  the  Chairman  of  the  Malawi  National  Education  Board, 
Donton  Mkandawire,  was  dismissed  for  allegedly  packing  the 
education  system  with  fellow  northerners.   Reportedly  fearing 
imprisonment,  he  subsequently  fled  to  Botswana. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Malawi  has  both  traditional  and  modern  court  systems.   Lawyers 
are  not  permitted  to  assist  defendants  in  regional  traditional 
court  cases,  but  legal  counsel  is  permitted  in  the  modern 
court  system.   The  right  of  appeal  exists  in  both  court 
systems.   The  judiciary  is  not  independent,  and  the  executive 
does  not  hesitate  to  intervene  in  cases  of  interest  to  it, 
particularly  those  of  political  or  security  import. 

The  modern  court  system  consists  of  the  magistrate  courts,  the 
High  Court,  and  the  Supreme  Court  of  Appeal.   The  President 
appoints  the  Chief  Justice  of  the  High  Court  and,  after 
consultation  with  the  Judicial  Service  Commission,  other 
modern  court  justices.   Most  are  well  qualified.   Due  to  much 
lower  salaries,  however,  magistrates  tend  to  be  recent  law 
school  graduates  with  no  experience.   This  is  the  level  at 
which  most  poor  persons  (who  cannot  afford  legal  counsel) 
first  come  into  contact  with  the  modern  court  system.   The 
latter  is  open  to  the  public,  and  defendants  are  charged 
publicly.   Due  process,  however,  is  frequently  ignored.   In 
1989  several  municipal  officials  including  the  town  clerks  of 
Lilongwe  and  Blantyre,  were  summarily  fired.   Some  were 
detained,  then  released  without  ever  being  charged.   None  was 
permitted  to  defend  himself  in  court.   Several  attempted  to 
sue  the  Government  for  wrongful  dismissal,  only  to  be  informed 
that  their  files  had  been  closed  by  presidential  decree. 

The  three  traditional  courts  at  the  regional  level  deal  with 
most  capital  offenses,  including  treason  (the  Chirwas  were 
tried  in  a  traditional  court).   Police  officials  handle  the 
prosecution,  and  defendants  conduct  their  own  defense. 

Traditional  court  justices  are  appointed  directly  by  the 
President.   Of  the  five  members  of  each  regional  traditional 
court,  three  are  chiefs  without  formal  legal  training,  one  is 


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a  trained  lawyer  who  advises  the  court,  and  the  fifth,  the 
chairman,  has  had  a  course  in  law.   There  is  little  executive 
interference  in  traditional  court  cases  dealing  in 
nonpolitical  matters  of  customary  law. 

The  Forfeiture  Act  permits  the  Government  to  revoke  the 
property  rights  of  those  suspected  of  economic  crimes,  such  as 
illegal  currency  transactions.   These  revocations  sometimes 
have  political  overtones  and  are  almost  always  directed 
against  the  Asian  community.   When  the  Forfeiture  Act  is 
invoked,  the  person  loses  all  worldly  possessions,  including 
business,  financial,  and  personal  assets.   Revocation  of 
property  rights  is  carried  out  by  executive  fiat  with  no 
judicial  review.   The  Forfeiture  Act  was  not  invoked  during 
1989,  suggesting  a  government  moderation  in  applying  its 
draconian  measures.   The  courts  several  times  tried  illegal 
currency  cases  instead.   Punishments  generally  fit  the  crime. 

f .   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Police  can  enter  houses  of  suspects  at  will  under  special 
entry  authority  to  conduct  searches  for  suspects  or 
incriminating  evidence.   It  is  generally  understood  that 
telephones  are  routinely  tapped  and  that  a  network  of 
informers  reports  private  statements  and  actions  to  the 
Government.   Authorities  open  some  domestic  and  international 
mail . 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Government  does  not  tolerate  criticism  of  any  kind  of  its 
policies.   It  is  an  offense  (5  years'  imprisonment)  to  publish 
anything  likely  "to  undermine  the  authority  of,  or  public 
confidence  in,  the  Government."   Life  imprisonment  applies  to 
"false  information"  sent  out  of  the  country  which  is  "harmful 
to  the  interests  or  good  name  of  Malawi."   In  practice,  giving 
critical  information  to  foreign  journalists  results  in 
detention  without  trial.   Any  discussion  of  Malawi's  political 
future  or  speculation  about  the  President's  age  is  prohibited. 

Local  media  do  not  submit  their  news  and  programs  to  the 
Government  beforehand,  but  self-censorship  "guidelines"  are 
generally  understood.   Journalists,  including  senior  editors, 
have  been  jailed  for  extended  periods  for  overstepping  these 
"guidelines."   Malawi's  two  newspapeVs  and  government-owned 
radio  station  exist  primarily  to  catalog  the  Chief  of  State's 
words  and  activities.   Nevertheless,  criticism  of  the 
efficiency  of  some  government  departments  occasionally  appears 
in  the  media  and  often  in  parliamentary  debate. 

Foreign  journalists  must  request  permission  to  enter  Malawi 
and  must  specify  in  advance  the  topics  they  intend  to  cover. 
Correspondents  from  the  New  York  Times,  Washington  Post,  and 
Financial  Times  visited  Malawi  in  1989  and  wrote  articles 
which  would  have  been  unheard  of  in  past  years.   In  a  major 
breakthrough,  two  Western  journalists  were  allowed  to  set  up 
residence  in  Malawi.   Although  a  spate  of  critical  foreign 
press  articles  (of  which  they  may  have  been  innocent) 
temporarily  compelled  the  two  journalists  to  leave  the  country 
in  October,  they  were  allowed  to  return  2  weeks  later. 

All  publications,  recordings,  and  movies  entering  Malawi  are 


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screened  by  the  Censorship  Board.   The  current  list  of  banned 
items  includes  well  over  1,000  titles. 

Limited  freedom  of  inquiry  into  the  natural  and  social 
sciences  exists  at  the  University  and  may  include  some 
examination  of  radical  political  ideologies,  provided  this 
does  not  extend  to  criticism  of  the  Government. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Political  meetings  are  not  permitted  outside  the  framework  of 
the  Malawi  Congress  Party.   Persons  may  be  imprisoned  if  they 
further  the  aims  of  an  "unlawful  society,"  defined  as  "any 
group  considered  to  be  dangerous  to  the  good  government  of  the 
republic."   In  the  nonpolitical  sphere,  individuals  and 
organizations  generally  are  free  to  meet  and  associate. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

There  is  no  state  or  preferred  religion,  but  religious  groups 
are  required  to  register  with  the  Government.   Jehovah's 
Witnesses,  whose  religious  convictions  prevent  them  from 
joining  political  parties,  have  been  banned  since  1967.   The 
Government  considers  the  Witnesses'  activities  to  be 
disruptive  of  "the  prevailing  calm,  law,  and  order." 
Witnesses  continue  to  be  arrested  and  charged.   In  1989  a 
Jehovah's  Witness  representative  claimed  that  entire  families 
were  arrested  in  the  period  1986-88  and  are  still  in  Dzeleka 
prison. 

Other  religious  groups  generally  may  establish  places  of 
worship  and  train  clergy.   Religious  publications,  like  all 
others,  may  not  criticize  the  Government  or  the  party.   Most 
religious  groups  are  free  to  establish  and  maintain  links  with 
coreligionists  in  other  countries,  and  members  are  free  to 
travel  abroad.   Malawi's  sizable  Muslim  minority  conducts  its 
religion  and  builds  mosques  freely.   President  Banda  has 
publicly  stressed  the  importance  of  providing  the  same  civic 
services  to  Muslims  which  the  Christian  majority  enjoys. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

There  are  few  restrictions,  in  practice,  on  movement  within 
Malawi  for  most  citizens,  though  legal  provisions  exist  for 
restricting  movement  of  those  convicted  of  political  or 
criminal  offenses.   However,  Asian  residents  and  citizens, 
while  free  to  travel  within  the  country,  must  reside  and  work 
in  one  of  four  urban  areas  (Lilongwe,  Zomba,  Mzuzu,  and 
Blantyre/Limbe) .   Denial  of  passports  on  political  grounds 
frequently  extends  to  family  members  of  persons  in  political 
disfavor  and  to  those  persons  the  Government  suspects  may 
criticize  it  if  allowed  to  travel  abroad.   Civil  servants  and 
employees  of  state-owned  enterprises  must  obtain  written 
permission  to  travel  abroad,  even  on  vacation.   Obtaining  such 
a  clearance  can  take  from  a  few  days  to  several  months. 
Formal  emigration  is  neither  restricted  not  encouraged. 

Malawi  hosts  the  largest  refugee  population  in  Africa.   Nearly 
800,000  Mozambicans,  located  in  heavily  populated  areas  with 
little  available  land,  have  seriously  strained  the  economy  as 
well  as  transportation  and  social  services  networks.   The 


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Government  has  shared  its  own  scarce  resources  and  has 
encouraged  and  cooperated  with  international  and  private 
voluntary  organizations  to  operate  relief  efforts.   The  latter 
are  coordinated  by  a  committee  chaired  by  the  Ministry  of 
Health.   The  United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  and 
other  international  assistance  groups  travel  freely  to  assess 
relief  needs  and  to  investigate  allegations  of  protection 
problems . 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  of  Malawi  do  not,  in  practice,  have  the  ability  to 
change  their  government.   Major  political  decisions  are  made 
by  the  President  or  his  close  associates.   Opposition 
political  parties  or  movements  are  not  permitted.   Membership 
in  the  Malawi  Congress  Party  is  not  legally  mandatory,  but  it 
is  frequently  coerced.   Based  on  the  1987  census,  over  70 
percent  of  the  adult  population  holds  at  least  nominal  party 
membership.   Membership  is  expected  of  those  who  aspire  to 
government  positions  (including  the  civil  service)  or 
professional  success.   Party  membership  is  often  required  of 
schoolchildren  and  of  those  who  seek  access  to  government 
services  or  entrance  to  local  markets.   The  annual  renewal  fee 
is  only  about  35  cents,  but  this  can  be  nearly  half  a  day's 
pay  for  a  minimum  wage  earner.   When  the  President  visits  an 
area,  financial  contributions  from  individuals  and  businesses 
are  also  levied. 

The  party  structure  provides  for  some  choice  among  candidates 
for  party,  parliamentary,  and  other  offices.   All  nominees, 
however,  are  selected  by  the  party  and  approved  by  the 
President.   Active  political  campaigning  is  not  permitted. 
The  National  Assembly,  consisting  of  both  elected  and  a  few 
appointed  members,  is  mainly  concerned  with  ratifying 
government  policy.   Its  powers  are  broadly  based  in  law  but 
highly  circumscribed  in  practice. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  does  not  permit  organizations  such  as  the 
International  Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  and  Amnesty 
International  to  visit  prisons  or  conduct  human  rights 
investigations  in  Malawi.   It  does  not  respond  to  their 
appeals.   Local  nongovernmental  human  rights  organizations  are 
not  permitted  to  exist.   Expressions  of  interest  in  alleged 
human  rights  problems  by  outside  groups  or  persons  are  not 
welcomed.   Repeated  diplomatic  efforts  to  discuss  the  case  of 
Vera  and  Orton  Chirwa  with  the  Government  have  been  rejected. 
Separate  efforts  in  1989  by  representatives  of  the  U.S.  and 
West  German  Governments  to  discuss  directly  with  President 
Banda  the  Mapanje  and  Dr.  Mtafu  cases,  respectively,  resulted 
in  his  angry  rejection  of  what  he  termed  interference  in 
Malawi's  internal  affairs. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Asian  residents,  whether  Malawian  citizens  or  not,  have  been 
compelled  to  transfer  ownership  of  rural  shops  and  trucking 
businesses  to  ethnic  Africans.   Strict  rules  governing  where 
Asians  may  own  property  effectively  limit  where  they  may 
reside.   Changes  in  the  citizenship  law  in  1986  eliminated  a 


Lsm 


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provision  whereby  persons  who  held  foreign  passports  could 
reside  indefinitely  in  Malawi.   These  changes  in  the  law, 
together  with  actions  under  the  Forfeiture  Act  (which  has  been 
applied  in  large  measure  against  Asians),  have  led  many  in  the 
small  Asian  community  (about  5,000  persons)  to  leave  Malawi 
and  others  to  question  their  long-term  future  there.   Some 
Asians  began  to  return,  however,  in  1989. 

Regionalism  as  a  divisive  domestic  issue  resurfaced  during  the 
President's  annual  crop  tour  in  February  1989.   Although  the 
Life  President  evidently  supported  antinorthern  campaigns  in 
years  past,  this  was  the  first  time  that  President  Banda 
allowed  the  full  weight  of  his  office  to  sanction  regionali: 
openly.   Prominent  northerners  who  lost  their  jobs  included; 
John  Phiri,  the  Secretary  for  Trade  and  Industry.   Hastings 
Chunga,  General  Manager  of  Sedom  (the  Government's  small 
enterprise  development  scheme);  and  James  Chatupa,  the 
Government's  Chief  Geologist.   Other  northerners,  notably 
Police  Commissioner  G.  G.  Mtawala  and  Chief  Magistrate  S.F.C. 
Munyenyembe,  were  "retired"  and  stripped  of  their  pensions. 
Several  lesser  officials  were  transferred  to  other  jobs. 

Perhaps  to  compensate,  the  President  highlighted  unity  (from 
Malawi's  four  doctrinaire  cornerstones)  at  the  annual  party 
congress  in  September,  during  Mothers  Day  in  October,  and  at 
the  closing  of  Parliament  in  November.   It  is  unlikely  that 
regional  sensibilities  were  assuaged  since  few  northerners  who 
were  detained,  lost  their  jobs,  or  felt  compelled  to  leave  the 
country  in  1989  have  obtained  remedial  relief. 

Most  women  are  limited  to  roles  defined  by  a  traditional 
African  society  and  do  not  have  opportunities  equal  to  men, 
although  the  President  takes  a  special  interest  in  advancing 
their  status.   Violence  against  women  is  not  tolerated.   At 
the  annual  party  conference  in  1989,  the  President  made  the 
entire  Central  Committee  stand  and  acknowledge  that  any  wife 
beaten  by  her  husband  could  approach  them  directly  for 
redress.   Responding  as  well  to  a  report  of  telephone 
harassment  gainst  a  European  woman,  the  President  directed 
the  police  to  tap  phones,  find  the  culprit,  and  send  him  off 
to  prison  for  life  without  a  trial. 

Women  enjoy  access  to  maternal  health  services  and  to 
extension  programs  designed  to  improve  their  homemaking 
abilities.   Such  programs,  while  benefical,  have  not  given 
full  recognition  to  the  importance  of  women  as  agricultural 
producers  in  the  rural  sector  (roughly  70  percent  of  all 
smallholder  farms  and  over  50  percent  of  subsistence  holdings 
are  headed  by  women)  and  the  potential  role  women  can  play  in 
the  modern  sector.   Males  still  have  an  advantage  in  education 
and  employment,  but  the  Government  has  initiated  broad-scale 
programs  to  reverse  existing  discrimination.   A  third  of  the 
positions  in  the  public  education  system,  for  example,  have 
been  reserved  for  women.   Malawi's  traditional  tribal 
leadership  structures  remain  primarily  matrilineal.   Several 
small  ethnic  groups  grant  few  rights  and  privileges  to  women 
and  occasionally  continue  to  practice  female  circumcision. 

Section  6   Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

Nongovernment  workers  have  the  legal  right  to  associate,  form, 
and  join  unions,  and  labor  unions  do  exist  in  the  small  wage 
sector.   However,  their  activities  are  highly  circumscribed  by 


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the  Government,  and  they  are  generally  ineffective  in 
achieving  gains  for  workers.   Most  wage  workers  are  unskilled 
laborers  on  large  agricultural  estates.   Labor  unions  must 
associate  under  the  Trade  Union  Congress  of  Malawi  (TUCM) . 

Malawi  law  provides  for  the  right  to  strike,  but  strikes  do 
not  occur  in  practice.   Ministry  of  Labor  officers  are  quick 
to  intervene  at  the  first  hint  of  labor  unrest,   with 
government  supervision,  the  TUCM  associates  with  international 
organizations  and  is  affiliated  with  The  Organization  of 
African  Trade  Union  Unity  and  the  International  Confederation 
of  Free  Trade  Unions. 

The  Government  allowed  the  Southern  African  Trade  Union 
Coordination  Council  to  open  a  permanent  office  in  Malawi  in 
1988.   It  is  headed  by  a  former  Malawian  labor  leader  who  was 
once  detained  for  several  years  on  political  grounds.   The 
Chamber  of  Commerce's  general  manager  is  also  a  former 
political  detainee,  illustrating  that  some  persons  are 
occasionally  permitted  to  make  a  comeback  in  Malawi. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Workers  have  the  legal  right  to  organize,  and  the  law 
prohibits  antiunion  discrimination  by  implication.   Complaints 
are  resolved  by  the  Ministry  of  labor.   Collective  bargaining 
is  protected  by  law,  but  its  use  is  limited.   The  Government 
has  set  a  minimum  wage  and  regulates  working  conditions,  but 
it  does  not  intervene  overtly  in  the  collective  bargaining 
process.   Labor  legislation  is  applied  uniformly  throughout 
the  country.   There  are  no  export  processing  zones  in  Malawi. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 
Forced  labor  is  prohibited  by  law  and  is  not  practiced. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  minimum  working  age  is  14,  but  this  applies  only  t<)  the 
small  urban  wage  sector  where  it  is  enforced  by  labor 
inspectors  from  the  Ministry  of  Labor.   In  the  large 
subsistence  agriculture  sector,  the  minimum  age  is  not 
enforced,  and  children  work  on  family  farms  at  a  younger  age. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Less  than  15  percent  of  the  work  force  is  employed  in  the 
formal  wage  sector.   For  those  fortunate  enough  to  hold  paid 
jobs,  wages  and  working  conditions  are  generally  adequate,  and 
paid  holidays  and  safety  standards  in  the  workplace  are 
required  by  law.   However,  enforcement  of  these  standards  is 
limited.   Malawi's  low  wage  levels  reflect  the  abundance  of 
unskilled  labor  and  the  Government's  policy  of  limiting  the 
urban-rural  income  gap  to  stem  migration  into  the  towns.   Wage 
earners  fare  slightly  better  in  living  standards  than  the  vast 
majority  of  workers  engaged  in  subsistence  agriculture.   The 
minimum  wage  reflects  the  fact  that  Malawi  is  one  of  the 
poorest  countries  in  the  world. 

New  minimum  wage  rates,  the  first  in  3  years,  were  implemented 
in  May  1989.   Mimimum  daily  wages  nearly  doubled  in  Malawi's 
three  cities,  to  80  cents  per  day;  and  wage  rates  in  rural 
areas  increased  125  percent,  to  30  cents  per  day.   Wages  for 
experienced  skilled  workers  are  increasing  sharply  as  the 
supply  of  such  workers  diminishes,  and  large  numbers  of  them 
find  better  paying  jobs  in  S.A.  and  Botswana. 


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Mali  is  a  single-party  state  in  which  effective  authority  is 
exercised  by  General  Moussa  Traore,  President  of  the  Republic 
and  Secretary  General  of  the  Democratic  Union  of  the  Malian 
people  (UPDM) ,  the  country's  only  legal  political  party  and 
supreme  political  entity.   President  Traore  assumed  power 
through  a  military  coup  in  1968,  and  under  his  leadership  the 
military  Government  adopted  a  new  Constitution  in  1974.   Since 
then,  the  military  have  retained  a  privileged  position,  but 
civilians  have  an  increasingly  important  role  in  daily 
government  operations  and  in  the  party.   Military  men  continue 
to  occupy  4  of  the  7  regional  governorships,  11  of  the  46 
districts,  and  an  important  number  of  lower  level 
administrative  posts,  particularly  in  the  border  areas. 

Mali  maintains  an  army  and  air  force,  which  provide  both 
external  and  internal  security.   The  gendarmerie  (paramilitary 
police)  assists  in  maintaining  internal  security. 

With  an  annual  per  capita  gross  national  product  of 
approximately  $190,  Mali  is  among  the  world's  poorest 
countries.   Mali  is  landlocked  and  lacks  major  mineral 
resources.   Its  economy  rests  on  subsistence  farming  and 
animal  husbandry.   Good  rainfalls  for  the  second  year  in  a  row 
increased  agricultural  production  and  permitted  some  export  of 
grains.   However,  it  is  too  soon  to  say  whether  the  cycle  of 
drought  and  economic  depression  that  has  affected  Mali  in 
recent  decades  is  over.   Malnutrition,  poor  food  distribution 
systems,  and  widespread  unemployment  remain  persistent 
problems.   Throughout  1989  the  Government  continued  its 
efforts  to  modernize  the  economy,  particularly  through  fiscal 
reform  and  privatization  of  state  enterprises,  but  Mali 
remains  heavily  dependent  on  external  aid. 

Human  rights  remained  circumscribed  in  Mali  in  1989.   The 
Government  did  permit  publication  of  an  independent  newspaper 
and  the  establishment  of  a  nongovernmental  human  rights 
organization.   The  infamous  Taodenit  prison  remained  closed. 
However,  security  authorities  mistreated  several  students  and 
held  them  incommunicado  for  several  months  for  distributing 
pamphlets.   Significant  human  rights  problems  included 
arbitrary  detention,  abuse  of  detainees,  and  restrictions  on 
fair  trial,  freedoms  of  speech,  press,  and  association,  the 
right  of  citizens  to  change  their  government  through 
democratic  means,  and  worker  rights. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1  Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 
No  politically  motivated  killings  were  reported. 

b.  Disappearance 

No  incidents  of  disappearance,  abduction,  or  hostage-taking 
were  reported. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  Government  has  issued  specific  instructions  prohibiting 
brutality  against  suspects.   However,  physical  abuse  of 


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suspected  persons  sometimes  occurs  during  police  interrogation 
or  in  confronting  demonstrations.   In  1989  authorities  accused 
eight  students  of  distributing  political  tracts  and  held  them 
in  incommunicado  detention  for  2  months.   According  to 
credible  sources,  they  were  seriously  mistreated,  and  at  least 
one  of  the  students  was  tied  and  suspended  by  his  hands  for  a 
prolonged  period  while  undergoing  interrogation.   No  officials 
were  prosecuted  or  even  reprimanded  for  these  actions. 

Prison  conditions  are  harsh  and  characterized*by  inadequate 
medical  facilities  and  food  supplies.  Mali's  most  infamous 
prison--Taodenit — was  closed  in  1988.  In  the  past,  the 
abysmal  conditions  at  Taodenit  contributed  to  the  deaths  of 
prisoners,  including  political  prisoners  held  there.  Amnesty 
International  has  called  for  a  full  and  independent  inquiry 
into  the  Taodenit  deaths. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

The  Malian  judicial  system  is  based  on  the  French  model. 
Detained  persons  do  not  have  the  right  to  a  judicial 
determination  of  the  legality  of  their  detention,  but  arrests 
cannot  be  made  without  formal  charges.   In  political  cases, 
the  authorities  do  not  always  follow  this  practice,  and 
incommunicado  detention  is  sometimes  utilized,  as  in  the  case 
of  the  eight  students.   Malian  law  does  not  provide  for 
release  on  bail,  but  detainees  are  sometimes  released  on  their 
own  recognizance.   Administrative  backlogs  often  cause  delays 
in  bringing  people  to  trial.   Detainees  are  usually  allowed 
access  to  a  lawyer  of  their  choice. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

A  part  of  the  executive  branch,  the  judiciary  is  not 
independent.   The  Ministry  of  Justice  supervises  both  law 
enforcement  and  judicial  functions.   The  Supreme  Court  is  the 
highest  court,  with  both  judicial  and  administrative  powers. 
The  National  Assembly  can  convene  a  high  court  of  justice  to 
hear  cases  against  state  ministers,  but  this  court  did  not 
meet  during  1989. 

The  eight  students  mentioned  above  were  finally  charged  in 
August  under  a  statute  prohibiting  the  distribution  of 
politically  inflammatory  material.   When  their  case  came  to 
trial,  seven  were  acquitted,  and  the  court  suspended  the 
sentence  of  the  one  student  who  was  found  guilty. 

Corruption  remains  a  major  political  issue,  and  trials  against 
corrupt  officials  continued  in  1989,  notably  in  the  Special 
Court  of  State  Security,  a  military  court.   The  Special  Court 
met  in  June  and  heard  47  cases.   Of  the  72  persons  found 
guilty  of  corruption,  30  were  sentenced  to  life  imprisonment 
and  7  received  death  sentences.   In  the  Special  Court, 
defendants  usually  admit  guilt  in  the  hope  of  receiving  a  more 
lenient  sentence  and  allow  their  lawyers  to  argue  mitigating 
circumstances.   The  verdict  and  sentence  are  rendered  by  a 
panel  of  three  judges,  including  civilian  judges  and  armed 
force  officers.   The  death  penalty  is  mandatory  under  the  law 
for  anyone  convicted  of  embezzling  more  than  $36,000. 
However,  in  most  embe^zlement  trials  restitution  by  the 
accused  can  decrease  the  severity  of  the  sentence.   Once 
convicted,  a  person  can  appeal  for  a  presidential  pardon  or 
request  a  new  trial.   The  right  to  request  a  presidential 


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pardon  or  a  new  trial  exists  in  mandatory  death  penalty  cases. 

As  far  as  is  known,  there  were  no  political  prisoners  being 
held  at  the  end  of  1989. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Inviolability  of  the  home  is  provided  for  in  the  Constitution 
and  generally  respected  in  practice.   Police  searches  are 
infrequent,  and  warrants  are  issued  and  recorded,  though 
sometimes  after  the  fact.   Local  authorities  sometimes  seize 
and  open  mail  extralegally .   Under  the  law,  private  letters 
can  be  opened  only  if  the  country  is  facing  political  crisis. 
In  such  cases,  the  only  organization  which  may  legally  open 
personal  mail  is  the  "Securite  d'Etat,"  a  special  intelligence 
service  responsible  to  the  Presidency. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Malian  Constitution  does  not  expressly  provide  for  freedom 
of  speech  and  press.   Malians  take  care  to  express  criticism 
of  the  Government  in  accepted  forums.   In  theory,  criticism  is 
permitted  within  the  councils  of  the  sole  political  party, 
which  all  citizens  are  encouraged,  but  not  forced,  to  join. 
Questioning  of  government  authority  outside  party 
deliberations  is  rare,  although  not  expressly  forbidden. 

The  Government  controls  most  Malian  media,  which  reflect 
official  positions.   In  some  instances  media  and  public 
criticism  of  specific  programs  and  of  the  performance  of  some 
government  officials  is  allowed.   An  independent  biweekly 
newspaper,  Les  Echos,  which  often  contains  sharp  political 
commentary,  began  publication  in  1989.   Independent  specialty 
magazines  such  as  Jamana  (a  cultural  publication)  and  Podium 
(a  sports  journal)  also  contain  some  political  commentary  and 
circulate  freely.   International  publications,  including  those 
having  articles  critical  of  Mali  and  its  Government,  are 
available.   Satire  and  social  criticism,  sometimes  with  a 
political  cast,  are  occasionally  evident  in  Malian  government 
publications.   Government  authorities  generally  seize 
political  tracts  printed  by  organizations  not  formally 
recognized  by  the  Government. 

Academic  freedom  does  not  include  the  right  to  criticize  the 
Government,  nor  is  this  right  extended  to  the  only  recognized 
labor  union,  which  is  considered  an  arm  of  the  Government. 
The  union  has,  however,  occasionally  been  critical  of 
government  policy. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  Constitution  provides  for  the  right  of  citizens  to  form 
organizations  to  protect  their  professional  interests,  but  in 
reality  only  selected  nonpolitical  organizations  such  as  urban 
professional  associations  qualify.   The  primary  groups  which 
assemble  freely  are  the  women's,  youth,  and  similar 
associations  of  Mali's  single  political  party.   In  1989  a 
number  of  apolitical  "amicales"  or  friendship  groups 
sponsoring  exchanges  with  foreign  countries  were  established, 
but  these  associations  do  not  have  an  overt  political  agenda. 


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MALI 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Mali  is  a  secular  state.   The  Government  generally  does  not 
discriminate  on  religious  grounds.   Although  90  percent  of 
Malians  are  Muslim,  most  other  religions  may  practice  their 
faiths  freely  and  are  permitted  to  establish  houses  of  worship 
as  well  as  schools.   Christian  missionaries  of  various  faiths 
enjoy  government  cooperation.   Proselytizing  and  conversion 
are  permitted,  except  in  the  case  of  the  Baha ' i ,  who  may 
practice  at  home  but  may  not  proselytize  or  establish  houses 
of  worship.   The  Government  prohibits  publications  in  which 
one  religious  group  defames  another. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Freedom  of  movement  in  Mali  is  generally  unimpeded,  although 
police  checks  sometimes  occur  in  which  Malians  and  foreigners 
alike  are  stopped,  particularly  at  night.   These  checks  are 
used  ostensibly  to  restrict  the  movement  of  contraband  goods 
and  to  check  vehicle  registrations.   In  practice,  some  police 
probably  supplement  their  frequently  delayed  salaries  by 
assessing  ad  hoc  fines  or  confiscating  goods.   Malians  are 
free  to  change  residence  or  workplace.   Foreign  travel 
requires  an  exit  visa,  which  is  easy  to  obtain.   Repatriation 
is  not  restricted. 

In  the  past  drought  years,  Mali  both  accepted  and  generated 
displaced  persons.   Several  thousand  Malians  were  repatriated 
from  Algeria  in  1986  and  1987.   In  1989  Mali  agreed  to  accept 
additional  repatriates  from  Algeria.   Mali  also  permitted 
entry  to  a  number  of  persons  who  were  expelled  from 
neighboring  Mauritania. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  have  no  ability  to  change  their  government  and  only 
limited  and  infrequent  opportunity  to  influence  it.   Important 
policies  and  decisions  are  made  by  a  small  group--the 
President,  the  19-member  Central  Executive  Bureau  of  the  UDPM, 
and  the  Council  of  Ministers.   The  memberships  of  these  groups 
overlap.   The  military  role  in  governing  Mali  remains 
important,  but  civilian  participation  in  the  leadership  groups 
has  been  growing.   Party  congresses  are  called  by  the 
President  to  consider  special  issues. 

Within  the  one-p^rty  system,  multiple  candidates  often  contest 
party  elections  at  the  local  level,  but  for  National  Assembly 
elections,  which  are  held  every  4  years,  only  one  carefully 
selected  party  candidate  runs  for  each  seat.   Proposed 
legislation  is  debated  and  endorsed  in  the  National  Assembly 
after  its  acceptance  by  the  Council  of  Ministers  and  review  by 
the  Supreme  Court.   Party  membership  is  a  prerequisite  for 
voting  and  for  holding  a  civil  service  appointment  or  other 
government  position.   All  citizens  are  encouraged  to  join  for 
a  nominal  fee. 


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MALI 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  is  generally  responsive  to  inquiries  by 
recognized  human  rights  groups,  although  it  apparently  has  not 
replied  to  Amnesty  International's  call  for  an  inquiry  into 
Taodenit  prison.   In  1989  the  Government  permitted  the 
establishment  of  a  nongovernmental  human  rights  organization. 
The  Malian  Association  for  Human  Rights.   This  organization 
sponsored  a  number  of  seminars  on  human  rights  issues  in  1989 
and  is  attempting  to  encourage  Malian  participation  in 
international  human  rights  meetings. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Mali  does  not  practice  religious  or  ethnic  discrimination,  nor 
does  it  have  the  civil  and  racial  strife  evident  in  many  other 
multiethnic  countries.   Virtually  all  of  Mali's  ethnic  groups 
are  represented  at  the  highest  state  and  party  levels. 
Although  some  nomadic  groups  such  as  the  Tamashek  are  not 
completely  integrated  into  the  economic  and  political 
mainstream,  Mali  is  relatively  free  of  ethnic  tensions. 

Social  and  cultural  factors  place  men  in  the  dominant  position 
in  Mali.   However,  women  play  an  important  economic  role,  both 
in  market  life  and  in  farming.   There  are  a  number  of  women  in 
the  professions,  but  economic  opportunity  for  educated  women 
is  limited.   Women  live  under  harsh  conditions,  especially  in 
the  rural  areas. 

Violence  against  women,  including  wife  beating,  is  accepted  in 
Malian  society,  but  there  are  no  statistics  to  indicate  how 
widespread  it  may  be.   Malian  society  generally  does  not 
tolerate  spousal  abuse  that  results  in  physical  injury,  but 
legal  action  for  redress  of  injury  is  not  normally  available. 
The  issue  of  spousal  abuse  has  not  been  addressed  by  the 
Government.   Nor  is  the  National  Union  of  Malian  Women  (UNFM) 
actively  engaged  in  this  issue.   The  UNFM  focuses  primarily  on 
establishing  cooperatives,  improving  health  programs,  and 
fostering  education.   It  also  campaigns  against  female 
circumcision,  which  is  still  widely  practiced  in  Mali, 
including  the  most  extreme  form  of  genital  mutilation, 
inf ibulation.   The  Government  has  taken  no  public  position  on 
this  issue. 

Traditional  practice  and  existing  Malian  laws  place  women  at  a 
disadvantage  with  regard  to  family  law  and  property  rights.   A 
group  of  female  jurists  is  seeking  improved  legal  protection 
for  women.   One  issue  being  addressed  by  this  group  pertains 
to  rights  of  widows.   Currently,  a  widow  has  no  right  to  her 
husband's  property  or  custody  of  children  conceived  during  the 
marriage. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

The  Constitution  specifically  provides  for  the  liberty  of 
citizens  to  form  organizations  to  protect  their  "professional 
interests."   However,  workers'  right  of  association  is  limited 
to  the  National  Union  of  Malian  Workers  (UNTM) .   The  UNTM 


24-900  O— 


216 


MALI 

comprises  12  unions  and  is  Mali's  only  recognized  workers' 
organization.   At  present,  there  are  no  unions  not  affiliated 
with  the  UNTM.   The  UNTM  claims  to  maintain  a  degree  of 
autonomy  from  the  Government,  and  unlike  the  women's  and  youth 
associations,  it  is  not  officially  part  of  the  party.   It  has 
on  occasion  offered  limited  criticism  of  certain  government 
programs.   Nevertheless,  it  is  subject  to  considerable 
government  influence  and  control,  and  the  UNTM  Secretary 
General  is  a  party  member,  although  not  a  member  of  the 
Central  Executive  Council  of  the  UDPM. 

Strikes  are  rarely  permitted,  and  those  deemed  to  be  taken  for 
political  reasons  are  illegal.   Given  Mali's  high  level  of 
unemployment,  most  workers  are  reluctant  to  strike  for  long 
periods  of  time.   By  law,  any  union  planning  to  go  on  strike 
must  notify  the  UNTM  and  obtain  prior  approval.   In  the  case 
of  student  and  teacher  strikes  which  took  place  in  1988,  no 
approval  was  given,  but  the  strikes  still  took  place  and  many 
participants  suffered  reprisals.   The  International  Labor 
Organization's  (ILO)  Committee  on  Freedom  of  Association 
concluded  that  the  resulting  government-directed  transfers, 
dismissals,  and  arrests  of  teachers  constituted  an  infringement 
on  their  freedom  of  association.   Malian  teachers  continue  to 
have  grievances,  specifically  over  the  nonpayment  of 
salaries.   There  were  no  teacher  strikes  in  1989,  but  there 
were  work  slowdowns.   In  September  drivers  of  minibuses  in 
Bamako  protested  government  attempts  to  impose  stricter 
regulations  on  their  activities.   When  there  was  no  response 
to  a  complaint  lodged  through  the  transport  union,  drivers 
organized  a  1-day  protest  strike.   There  were  no  government 
reprisals . 

The  UNTM  maintains  contacts  with  international  labor 
organizations,  both  public  and  private.   The  UNTM  is  affiliated 
with  two  international  labor  bodies:   the  Organization  of  West 
African  Workers  and  the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union 
Unity. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

There  are  no  specific  constraints  by  the  Government  or 
employers  on  workers  attempting  to  organize,  but  in  practice, 
Mali's  unitary  party  system  effectively  inhibits  the  workers' 
right  to  organize.   True  collective  bargaining  does  not  take 
place.   The  UNTM  has  a  policy  role  in  the  agreements 
negotiated  by  the  individual  member  unions,  and  the 
Government,  through  the  Minister  of  Labor,  must  approve  all 
wage  and  related  agreements. 

There  are  no  export  processing  zones  in  Mali. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

The  Constitution  prohibits  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  and 
this  prohibition  is  generally  observed  in  practice.   There 
have  been  reports  that  a  form  of  traditional  slavery  is  still 
practiced  in  some  isolated  parts  of  the  country. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  minimum  age  for  employment  is  14,  but  with  parents' 
permission  children  can  be  apprenticed  at  12.   In  practice, 
children  in  rural  areas  join  the  family  farming  work  force  at 
a  much  younger  age.   As  workers  in  the  informal  sector,  they 
are  not  protected  by  laws  against  unjust  compensation. 


217 

MALI 

excessive  hours,  and  capricious  discharge. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Mali  has  a  detailed  labor  code  specifying  conditions  of 
employment,  including  hours,  wages,  and  social  security 
benefits.   The  normal  workweek  is  44  hours.   The  minimum  wage 
is  approximately  $42.50  per  month,  which  could  provide  a 
decent  standard  of  living  if  it  went  to  support  only  one 
person.   However,  most  wage  earners  support  extended 
families.   Health  and  safety  standards  vary,  depending  upon 
the  category  of  work,  but  there  is  limited  enforcement  due  to 
the  lack  of  inspectors.   Employers  are  required  to  pay  into  a 
national  social  security  fund. 


218 


MAURITAMIA 

The  Islamic  Republic  of  Mauritania  has  been  governed  since 
1978  by  the  Military  Committee  for  National  Salvation  (CMSN) . 
Colonel  Maaouya  Ould  Sid'ahmed  Taya,  President  of  the 
Committee  and  Chief  of  State,  assumed  power  in  1984  after  the 
bloodless  ouster  of  the  former  president,  Lt .  Col.  Mohamed 
Khouna  Ould  Haidalla.   All  19  members  of  the  Military 
Committee  hold  ministerial  portfolios  or  occupy  other  key 
military  or  government  positions.   The  Committee  functions  as 
a  legislative  body,  while  the  President,  assisted  by  his 
Council  of  Ministers  and  a  few  close  advisers,  wields  the 
executive  power.   Political  parties  are  not  allowed  in 
Mauritania . 

The  security  forces  number  about  16,000  and,  in  addition  to 
the  regular  armed  forces,  include  the  National  Guard,  the 
gendarmerie  (a  specialized  corps  of  paramilitary  police)  and 
the  police.   The  National  Guard  and  police  come  under  the 
Minister  of  Interior  and  all  have  internal  security 
functions.   Over  the  past  3  years,  the  Government  purged 
security  forces  of  hundreds  of  suspected  dissidents, 
particularly  non-Hassaniya-speaking  black  Mauritanians  and 
Pan-Arab  Baathists. 

Mauritania  continues  to  face  massive  economic  and  social 
problems:   drought,  desertification,  insect  infestation,  the 
Western  Sahara  conflict,  extensive  unemployment,  one  of  the 
highest  per  capita  foreign  debts  in  Africa,  poor  infra- 
structure, inadequate  health  and  education  systems,  and  exodus 
from  rural  areas.   Although  adequate  rains  fell  in  1988  and 
1989,  the  prior  drought  years  forced  large  numbers  of  nomads 
into  towns,  with  a  consequent  weakening  of  traditional  Maur 
nomadic  culture,  and  a  severe  strain  on  government  resources. 
In  addition,  mutual  expulsions  and  repatriations  between 
Senegal  and  Mauritania  after  April  1989  resulted  in  the 
movement  of  more  than  100,000  people,  placing  an  unprecedented 
economic  and  social  strain  on  Mauritanian  society.   Many  of 
the  Mauritanians  who  returned  had  been  prosperous  merchants  in 
Senegal,  and  important  sources  of  foreign  exchange  earnings. 
At  the  same  time,  many  of  the  black  Africans  who  departed  had 
held  important  technical  and  skilled  positions  in  Mauritania. 

The  human  rights  situation  in  Mauritania  deteriorated 
dramatically  in  1989.   In  April  Mauritania  experienced  one  of 
its  most  serious  crises  since  independence,  when  anti- 
Senegalese  rioting  in  Mauritania  and  anti-Mauritanian  rioting 
in  Senegal  left  hundreds  dead.   In  the  aftermath  of  the 
rioting,  tens  of  thousands  of  Senegalese  citizens  as  well  as 
Pulaar-speaking  Mauritanian  citizens  were  expelled  to 
Senegal.   Tens  of  thousands  of  Mauritanians  and  Senegalese  of 
Maur  origin  similarly  fled  or  were  expelled  from  Senegal. 
Subsequently,  the  Mauritanian  Government  dismissed  many 
Halpulaar  civil  servants  and  employees  of  state-owned 
enterprises  from  their  positions.   Although  the  Mauritanian 
authorities  argued  that  the  expellees  were  not  true 
Mauritanians,  but  rather  Senegalese  with  false  identity 
papers,  the  fact  remains  that  in  all  cases  persons  were 
forcibly  removed,  often  without  being  allowed  to  retain  their 
possessions,  and  without  due  process  of  law.   Reports  of 
unlawful  detention  and  torture  also  surfaced  during  1989,  and 
most  other  human  rights,  including  political  freedoms, 
remained  tightly  circumscribed. 


219 

MAURITANIA 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  have  been  no  substantiated  cases  of  members  of  the 
Government  or  security  forces  perpetrating  politically 
motivated  killings.   However,  serious  questions  remain 
regarding  the  role  of  the  Mauritanian  security  forces  in  the 
initial  riots  on  April  24-25.   During  the  early  stages  of  the 
rioting,  some  police  officers  stood  by  without  intervening,  or 
may  even  have  goaded  on  the  rioters.   The  Mauritanian  army  was 
called  in  to  quell  the  disturbances  only  on  April  25.   Whether 
these  incidents  reflected  official  government  policy,  or  were 
isolated  instances  of  individuals  acting  on  their  own,  is 
unknown.   The  net  results  of  the  violence  were  numerous  deaths 
and  extensive  property  damage.   The  Government  conceded  a 
death  toll  of  several  scores,  while  other  sources  contended 
that  several  hundred  persons  may  have  died. 

b.  Disappearances 

There  were  no  substantiated  reports  of  politically  motivated 
disappearances . 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Mauritanian  law  specifically  precludes  the  use  of  torture. 
There  were,  however,  recurring  reports  during  1989  that  the 
security  forces  used  torture  against  dissidents  and  against 
some  non-Hassaniya-speaking  black  Mauritanians. 

On  February  27,  five  leaders  of  the  December  1988-January  1989 
student  strike  at  the  university  of  Nouakchott  released  a 
report  describing  their  4-day  interrogation  and  torture  at  the 
hands  of  the  police  in  December  1988.   The  students  said  they 
were  deprived  of  food  and  sleep,  forced  to  stand  without 
clothes  outdoors  in  the  chill  of  night,  kicked  and  beaten  with 
rubber  hoses,  and  suspended  by  their  hands  and  feet  from  a 
steel  beam  until  they  became  unconscious.   Several  also  had 
their  heads  kept  immersed  in  water  until  they  feared 
drowning.   According  to  their  report,  upon  their  release, 
several  of  the  students  could  not  walk  and  remained  bedridden 
for  over  a  week.   The  students  provided  the  names  of  several 
of  their  alleged  police  torturers  in  their  report.   The 
Government  is  not  known  to  have  acted  against  the  alleged 
torturers;  neither,  however,  did  it  retaliate  against  the 
students,  although  the  report  was  circulated  widely. 

In  the  aftermath  of  the  April  rioting,  there  were  recurrent 
unsubstantiated  reports  of  police  detention  and  torture  of 
non-Hassaniya-speaking  black  Mauritanians,  particularly  in  the 
regions  along  the  Senegal  river.   These  reports  generally 
involved  incidents  in  small  villages  or  remote  areas  and  were 
thus  difficult  to  verify.   The  recurring  nature  of  these 
reports,  however,  lends  credence  to  the  overall  impression 
that  incidents  of  torture  did  in  fact  take  place. 

One  report  issued  by  Amnesty  International  (AI)  involved  the 
headmaster  of  a  school  in  Tetiane,  who  was  allegedly  detained 
and  tortured  by  the  police  in  Kaedi  in  early  June.   The 
headmaster  reportedly  died  as  a  result  of  this  treatment.   The 


220 


MAURITANIA 

same  report  alleged  that  four  Pulaar-speaking  black 
Mauritanian  herdsmen  were  detained,  tortured,  and  possibly 
killed  by  the  police  in  the  Kaedi  and  M'bout  region,  also  in 
June.   Numerous  other  unsubstantiated  allegations  of  torture 
surfaced,  often  involving  efforts  by  the  local  security  forces 
to  intimidate  or  force  Pulaar  or  Wolof-speaking  black 
Mauritanians  into  leaving  their  homes  and  going  to  Senegal. 

Responsibility  for  such  alleged  activities  is  difficult  to 
determine;  there  may  have  been  incidents  in  which  local 
security  forces  acted  independently,  without  orders  from  their 
superiors.   Furthermore,  in  several  areas  along  the  river 
local  militias  of  mostly  Hassaniya-speaking  white  and  black 
Maurs  were  formed,  ostensibly  to  guard  against  cross-border 
incursions  from  Senegal.   Since  some  of  these  civilians  were 
armed,  it  is  possible  that  some  cases  of  torture  were  carried 
out  by  these  militias.   On  balance,  even  though  some  senior 
members  of  the  regime  continued  to  voice  opposition  to  the  use 
of  torture,  reports  suggest  that  its  use  increased  during 
1989,  especially  in  the  aftermath  of  the  April  intercommunal 
violence,  and  there  were  no  known  instances  of  the  Government 
punishing  those  responsible. 

Prison  conditions  in  Mauritania  are  harsh.   Four  political 
prisoners  died  from  disease  and  malnutrition  at  Oualata  Prison 
in  1988,  in  part  because  the  prison  commandant  was 
systematically  withholding  food.   As  a  result  of  these  deaths 
and  the  international  pressures  they  caused,  the  remaining 
prisoners  were  subsequently  removed  from  Oualata,  and  the 
commandant  was  dismissed  and  reprimanded. 

d.   Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Mauritanian  law  in  principle  assures  expeditious  arraignment 
and  trial,  access  to  legal  counsel,  and  the  right  of  appeal. 
The  courts  must  review  the  legality  of  a  person's  detention 
more  than  72  hours  after  his  or  her  arrest.   Compliance  with 
this  law,  however,  is  inconsistent.   For  example,  the  five 
leaders  of  the  University  of  Nouakchott  student  strike  were 
detained  for  4  days  in  December  1988  without  a  hearing.   AI 
has  also  reported  that  one  of  these  students,  Abdallahi  Ould 
Bah  Nagi,  was  subsequently  detained  by  the  police  on  May  29 
and  held  without  a  hearing.   The  apparent  reason  for  his 
detention  was  his  role  in  the  distribution  of  a  leaflet 
criticizing  the  expulsion  of  non-Hassaniya-speaking  black 
Mauritanians  by  the  Mauritanian  Government. 

In  the  aftermath  of  the  April  riots,  there  were  widespread 
stories — often  from  persons  in  refugee  camps  in  Senegal — of 
detention  by  local  officials  of  Pulaar-speaking  black 
Mauritanians  living  in  the  Senegal  river  valley.   For  example, 
three  high  school  teachers  were  reportedly  arrested  and 
detained  by  gendarmerie  in  Bababe  and  eventually  expelled  to 
Senegal.   There  were  numerous  reports  of  intimidation, 
arrests,  prolonged  detention,  and  expulsion  centering  on 
security  forces  in  Kaedi  and  Rosso. 

AI  also  reported  that  a  number  of  Pulaar-speaking  black 
Mauritanian  civil  servants,  including  Oumir  Tall,  Amidou 
Tidiane  Ly,  Memkoudou  Diop,  Abdanlage  Wane,  were  arrested  and 
detained  incommunicado  in  May  1989  in  Nouakchott.   These 
detainees  were  not  charged  with  any  offense,  although 
unofficial  sources  suggested  that  they  were  held  because  of 
suspected  involvement  in  movements  opposed  to  the  Government. 


no 


221 


MAURITANIA 

In  mid-November,  there  were  widespread,  credible  reports  of 
the  arrest,  detention,  and  possible  torture  of  a  number  of 
Halpulaar  teachers  in  the  town  of  Kaedi .   As  many  as  50 
persons  may  have  been  detained  without  being  officially 
charged,  and  by  year's  end  their  status  remained  unresolved. 

Internal  exile  is  a  method  of  removing  opposition  figures  from 
the  public  eye.   Former  President  Haidalla  and  five  of  his 
associates,  who  were  arrested  during  the  1984  coup  but  never 
charged,  reportedly  still  remain  in  internal  exile  in  remote 
locations.   There  were  credible  reports  of  the  detention  and 
exile  without  charges  of  several  black  Mauritanian  civil 
servants  and  military  personnel  since  May  1989.   Many  more 
were  expelled  to  Senegal,  in  lieu  of  internal  exile. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  legal  system  functions  primarily  under  the  Shari'a 
(Islamic  law)  put  in  place  during  the  Haidalla  regime.   The 
Ministry  of  Justice  plays  the  major  role  in  administering  the 
Shari'a  and  selecting  judicial  personnel.   The  Shari'a  applies 
to  most  crimes  and  offenses,  with  the  exception  of  commercial 
and  banking  offenses,  traffic  violations  that  cause  bodily 
harm,  and  offenses  against  the  security  of  the  State.   These 
three  categories  of  offenses  are  all  handled  by  the  Special 
Court,  which  renders  its  judgments  on  the  basis  of  laws 
modeled  after  French  law.   The  Taya  administration  has  urged 
the  Islamic  judges  not  to  use  extreme  physical  punishments, 
such  as  amputations,  which  occurred  during  the  Haidalla 
regime.   The  Taya  Government  is  slowly  eliminating  a  number  of 
unqualified  Shari'a  judges  who  were  appointed  during  the 
Haidalla  years.   By  virtue  of  a  recent  government  decision, 
judges  cannot  be  tenured  before  7  years  of  service. 

While  trials  in  the  ordinary  courts  are  public,  the  State 
Security  Court,  which  tries  offenses  against  state  security, 
may  conduct  secret  trials.   All  defendants,  regardless  of  the 
court,  have  the  right  to  be  present  with  legal  counsel  during 
the  proceedings.   If  necessary,  the  accused  is  provided 
counsel  at  public  expense.   Defendants  may  confront  witnesses 
and  present  evidence.   They  may  appeal  the  sentences  of  the 
ordinary  courts  but  not  those  of  the  Security  Court.   While 
the  judiciary  is  nominally  independent,  some  knowledgable 
observers  have  claimed  that  judges  take  their  cue  from  the 
Government  when  sentencing  opponents  of  the  regime. 

The  right  to  a  fair  public  trial  in  Mauritania  was,  by  any 
standard,  severely  abused  during  1989.   After  April,  thousands 
of  non-Hassaniya-speaking  black  Mauritanians,  particularly  in 
the  Halpulaar  community,  were  expelled  to  Senegal  without  any 
recourse  to  judicial  proceedings.   Those  expelled  often  had  no 
advance  warning  of  their  expulsion  and  no  time  or  opportunity 
to  carry  any  possessions  with  them.   According  to  reports  from 
refugee  camps  in  Senegal,  many  were  forced  across  the  frontier 
river  at  gunpoint. 

The  Mauritanian  Government  contended  that  many,  if  not  all,  of 
the  persons  expelled  were  in  fact  of  Senegalese  nationality, 
and  that  their  Mauritanian  identity  documents  were  fraudulent. 
Even  if  this  were  the  case,  an  arbitrary  determination  of 
nationality  seems  to  have  been  made  without  according  due 
process  to  those  affected.   Furthermore,  the  Mauritanian 
Government  appears  to  have  ignored  its  own  law,  which 


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specifies  that  all  persons,  including  foreigners,  have  a  right 
to  the  protection  of  their  property  and  possessions  and  cannot 
be  deprived  of  them  except  by  a  court  decision.   The 
widespread  and  credible  reports  of  confiscation  and 
destruction  of  identity  papers  by  security  forces  indicated  a 
conscious  and  concerted  effort  to  circumvent  the  legal  process. 

The  number  of  political  detainees  and  prisoners  held  at  the 
end  of  1989  was  unknown.   In  December  the  Government  released 
19  political  prisoners,  including  the  head  of  the  outlawed 
Baathist  Party  arrested  in  1988,  and  18  non-Hassaniya-speaking 
black  political  activists  convicted  in  October  1986  following 
antigovernment  political  agitation. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

In  the  past,  government  surveillance  of  individuals  was 
generally  limited  to  patrols  on  major  highways  and  customs 
checkpoints,  occasional  nighttime  inspections  of  vehicular 
traffic,  and  inspections  of  mail  suspected  of  containing 
currency  or  prohibited  items.   Under  Mauritanian  law,  the 
police  require  warrants  to  perform  home  searches. 

The  right  to  privacy  was  severely  abused  in  Mauritania  after 
April  1989.   Expulsions  of  Pulaar-speaking  black  Mauritanians 
involved  systematic  entry  of  homes  by  security  forces  and 
forcible  removal  of  families,  without  search  warrants  or  any 
legal  proceedings.   These  activities  occurred  predominantly  in 
villages  along  the  river,  and  thus  it  is  unclear  to  what 
extent  they  were  officially  sanctioned  by  the  Mauritanian 
Government,  and  to  what  extent  they  were  the  the  work  of 
overzealous  local  officials.   After  repeated  diplomatic 
protests,  the  expulsions  appeared  to  slow  dramatically  after 
mid-July,  and  there  were  reasons  to  believe  that  the 
Government  was  making  efforts  to  control  the  situation. 
Nevertheless,  there  were  continuing  reports  of  government 
surveillance  of  suspected  dissidents,  as  well  as  intimidation 
and  harassment  of  Pulaar-speaking  black  Mauritanians  in  the 
Senegal  River  valley. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Freedom  of  speech  and  press  is  restricted.   While  Mauritanians 
may  criticize  government  policies  in  conversations  with 
friends  and  relatives,  they  are  somewhat  more  inhibited  in 
speaking  with  foreigners.   Military  personnel  are  under  tight 
surveillance,  and  expression  of  views  that  could  be  construed 
as  even  mildly  critical  of  the  Government  is  likely  to  result 
in  close  questioning  by  military  security  officers.   The 
Government  is  quick  to  react  to  any  public  comments  it  thinks 
pose  a  threat  to  the  security  of  the  State.   Many  of  those 
persons  detained  without  a  trial  during  1989,  including  the 
five  student  strike  leaders  as  well  as  many  civil  servants, 
were  targets,  it  is  believed,  precisely  because  they  voiced 
opposition  to  the  current  regime  and  its  policies.   In 
particular,  the  Government  appeared  to  be  sensitive  to  any 
expression  of  ethnic  dissatisfaction  or  criticism  of  its 
ethnic  policies. 

Mauritania's  only  daily  newspaper  and  the  radio  and  television 
stations  are  government  owned  and  operated.  During  the  past  3 
years  the  Government  has  allowed  a  limited  amount  of 


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discussion  of  government  policies  within  the  context  of 
interviews  with  government  officials.   In  early  1988,  the 
Government  authorized  the  publication  of  two  privately  owned 
monthly  magazines,  Mauritanie  Demain  and  L'Evenement.   These 
publications  periodically  carried  articles  on  mildly 
controversial  social  issues,  but  they  refrained  from  any 
direct  criticism  of  the  Government. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Mauritanian  law  recognizes  the  rights  of  assembly  and 
association,  but  since  the  1978  coup  the  Government  has  banned 
all  political  movements  and  generally  prohibited  meetings  of  a 
political  nature.   Any  formal  grouping  must  be  registered  with 
the  Minister  of  Interior.   The  Government  usually  does  not 
interfere  with  assemblies  and  associations  as  long  as  they 
avoid  political  activity. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Islam  is  the  official  religion  of  Mauritania;  virtually  all 
citizens  are  Muslim.   Mauritanian  Muslims  are  prohibited  from 
entering  non-Islamic  houses  of  worship  and  from  converting  to 
another  religion.   Proselytizing  by  non-Muslims  and  the 
construction  of  Christian  churches  and  other  non-Islamic 
houses  of  worship  require  government  permission.   The  Roman 
Catholic  community  in  Mauritania  has  five  churches  which 
operate  freely  as  long  as  they  restrict  their  services  to 
resident  foreigners. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Traditionally,  there  have  been  few  restrictions  on  movement 
within  Mauritania,  where  nomadism  has  long  been  a  way  of 
life.   Travelers,  however,  are  subjected  to  routine  police  and 
customs  checks  along  all  major  roads  and  at  the  country's 
international  and  domestic  airports.   During  the  riots  of 
April  1989,  dusk-to-dawn  curfews  were  imposed  in  Nouakchott, 
Nouadhibou,  and  some  other  cities  but  were  reduced  and  finally 
lifted  as  the  situation  calmed.   During  the  final  months  of 
1989,  as  cross-border  incidents  from  Senegal  increased, 
curfews  were  imposed  in  a  number  of  villages  in  the  Senegal 
river  valley  as  well.   Since  1985  Mauritanians  no  longer  need 
an  exit  visa  to  travel  abroad,  although  there  were  reports  of 
some  persons  being  denied  passports. 

During  1989  large  numbers  of  Mauritanians  had  their 
citizenship  effectively  revoked  and  were  subsequently  expelled 
to  Senegal.   The  revocations  of  citizenship,  which  may  have 
involved  as  many  as  50,000  people,  appear  in  many  cases  to 
have  been  based  entirely  on  ethnicity.   Only  non-Hassaniya- 
speaking  Mauritanians,  particularly  Halpulaar  and,  to  a  much 
lesser  degree,  other  black  African  ethnic  groups,  were 
affected.   Many  of  these  displaced  persons  were  not  accorded 
Senegalese  citizenship  and  thus  in  effect  became  stateless 
persons.   At  year's  end,  the  Mauritanian  Government  had  not 
taken  specific  steps  to  permit  access  to  the  courts  by 
expellees  who  wished  to  obtain  confirmation  of  their 
citizenship  and  right  to  return  home.   However,  there  was  a 
small  but  indeterminate  number  of  cases  of  acknowledged 
Mauritanians  being  allowed  to  return,  apparently  as  a  result 
of  individual  extrajudicial  petitions  or  intervention  by 
officials . 


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As  many  as  80,000  displaced  persons  arrived  in  Mauritania  from 
Senegal  during  April  and  May  of  1989.   While  many  of  these 
were  Mauritanian  citizen  repatriates,  many  others  were 
Senegalese  citizens  of  ethnic  Maur  origin.   The  arrival  of 
these  repatriates  and  refugees  placed  a  heavy  additional 
burden  on  the  Mauritanian  economy.   Although  hard  pressed  for 
resources,  the  Mauritanian  Government  made  commendable  and 
largely  successful  efforts  to  assist  all  those  arriving  from 
Senegal.   The  Government  also  permitted  the  United  Nations 
High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  (UNHCR)  and  the  International 
Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  (ICRC)  to  establish  temporary 
offices  in  Nouakchott  to  provide  aid  to  displaced  persons. 
There  were  no  reports  of  refugees  being  returned  forcibly  to 
Senegal . 

As  a  result  of  the  ongoing  conflict  in  neighboring  Western 
Sahara  between  Morocco  and  the  Polisario  Front,  a  small  number 
of  refugees  from  the  Western  Sahara  have  settled  in  Nouadhibou 
and  other  northern  towns.   They  have  been  successfully 
absorbed  into  Mauritanian  society. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  of  Mauritania  are  unable  democratically  to  change 
their  government  at  the  national  level.   All  political  power 
rests  in  the  hands  of  the  military  regime.   The  Military 
Committee  for  National  Salvation  (CMSN)  remains  the  "custodian 
of  the  nation's  sovereignty,"  and  all  executive  and 
legislative  functions  reside  with  it.   Membership  is  limited 
to  military  officers  who  occupy  ministerial  positions  or 
important  military  and  security  posts.   The  CMSN  is 
predominantely  comprised  of  Hassaniya-speaking  Maurs,  although 
members  of  other  ethnic  groups  are  members.   However,  non-Maur 
membership  on  the  CMSN,  as  well  as  among  those  holding  senior 
government  or  military  positions,  decreased  in  1989  in  the 
wake  of  ethnic  tensions. 

In  early  January,  the  Government  held  elections  in  164  rural 
communes.   All  Mauritanians ,  aged  21  years  or  older  and 
residing  in  these  localities,  were  entitled  to  vote,  and  the 
ballot  was  secret.   In  most  localities,  two  or  more  slates  of 
candidates  competed  for  the  electorate's  vote. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Taya  Government  in  the  past  has  been  generally  responsive 
to  human  rights  concerns.   For  example,  it  cooperated  with  the 
U.N.  Human  Rights  Commission  Working  Group  on  slavery  by 
allowing  a  representative  to  come  to  Mauritania  to  obtain 
information  on  this  issue.   In  1987  the  Government  permitted 
representatives  of  AI  to  visit  Nouakchott  for  discussions  on 
racial  and  ethnic  tensions  in  Mauritania.   In  1988  a 
delegation  from  the  International  Commission  of  Jurists  and 
the  Chairman  of  the  African  Jurists  Association  visited 
Mauritania  to  review  human  rights  practices. 

As  a  result  of  President  Taya's  public  support  for  basic  human 
rights,  the  Mauritanian  Human  Rights  League  was  formed  in 
1986.   The  League,  which  is  affiliated  with  the  Paris-based 
International  Federation  of  Human  Rights,  is  staffed  by 
volunteers  who  address  such  concerns  as  eradicating  remaining 
vestiges  of  slavery,  ensuring  the  uniform  application  of 


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Shari'a  law,  promoting  the  status  of  women,  and  preventing 
abuses  such  as  arbitrary  arrest,  detention,  and  torture.   In 

1988,  the  League  hosted  the  first  conference  on  Maghrebian 
human  rights. 

In  the  wake  of  the  ethnic  disturbances  of  1989,  the  League 
experienced  serious  difficulties  in  its  efforts  to  remain  a 
viable  and  independent  human  rights  organization.   On  May  3, 

1989,  League  Director  Ghali  Ould  Abdel  Hamid  was  arrested  for 
"threatening  state  security"  at  Nouakchott  airport  after  he 
publicly  faulted  the  Governments  of  Senegal  and  Mauritania  for 
failing  to  address  ethnic  problems.   Ghali  was  released  after 
34  hours  of  detention. 

In  the  weeks  following  Ghali 's  arrest,  the  League  continued  to 
speak  out  on  the  subject  of  human  rights  abuses,  and  on  July 
21,  1989,  issued  a  statement  critical  of  government  expulsions 
of  non-Hassaniya-speaking  black  Mauritanians.   The  League 
continued  to  face  considerable  pressure  from  the  Government, 
however,  and  on  July  31,  1989,  issued  a  statement  critical  of 
AI ' s  declaration  condemning  Mauritania's  expulsions  of  its 
citizens . 

Section  5  Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Mauritania  is  situated  geographically  and  culturally  on  the 
divide  between  traditionally  nomadic  Arabic-speaking  Maurs  of 
the  north  and  the  sedentary  black  cultivators  of  the  African 
south.   The  interaction  of  these  two  groups  produces  the 
complex  cultural  diversity  as  well  as  the  ethnic  tensions 
inherent  in  Mauritanian  society.   Historically,  the 
Hassaniya-speaking  white  Maurs  have  dominated  the  political 
and  economic  system.   Taken  together,  the  Hassaniya-speaking 
black  Maurs — members  of  the  former  slave  caste — and 
Mauritania's  non-Hassaniya-speaking  blacks  outnumber  the  white 
Maurs  by  a  considerable  majority.   This  racial  majority  is  by 
no  means  cohesive,  however,  since  black  Maurs  identify  in  many 
ways  more  closely  with  the  white  Maur  population. 

Many  non-Hassaniya-speaking  black  Mauritanians  have  long 
contended  that  since  independence,  white  Maur  domination  in 
government,  state  enterprises,  business,  and  religious 
institutions  is  a  result  of  ethnic  and  linguistic 
discrimination.   Their  grievances  have  included  a  reduction  of 
the  numbers  of  non-Hassaniya-speaking  black  Mauritanians  at 
all  levels  of  government,  and  the  increasing  use  of  Hassaniya 
rather  than  French  in  many  sectors  of  Mauritanian  government 
and  business.   They  have  also  pointed  to  the  Government's  new 
land  reform  law  as  a  means  to  allow  white  and  black  Maurs  to 
take  control  of  fertile  land  in  the  Senegal  river  valley  that 
had  been  traditionally  the  preserve  of  non-Hassaniya-speaking 
black  Mauritanians.   Recent  movements  of  nomads  into  the 
Senegal  river  valley  as  a  result  of  the  decade-long  drought  in 
the  north  further  exacerbated  tensions. 

The  violence  in  April  that  resulted  in  many  deaths  was  in 
general  more  the  result  of  an  eruption  of  underlying  ethnic 
tensions  rather  than  an  officially  sanctioned  government 
policy,  but  the  expulsions  of  non-Hassaniya-speaking  black 
Mauritanians  that  followed  were  largely  orchestrated  by 
Mauritanian  security  forces. 

Both  white  and  black  Maurs  were  resettled  into  the  villages  in 
the  Senegal  river  valley  from  which  Halpulaar  residents  were 


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forcibly  expelled.   While  many  of  those  resettled  were 
themselves  refugees  from  Senegal,  others  had  moved  from 
northern  Mauritania  in  search  of  richer  farmlands.   These 
resettlements  have  set  the  stage  for  future  disputes  over  land 
tenure  and  a  continuation  of  ethnic  tensions  in  the  Senegal 
river  valley. 

Women  in  Mauritanian  Muslim  society  are  often  limited  to 
traditional  roles,  which  may  encompass  considerable  financial 
and  civil  autonomy,  especially  outside  the  few  urban  areas. 
The  Government  is  encouraging  the  entry  of  women  into  the 
professions,  government,  and  business.   In  late  1988,  the  Taya 
Government  created  a  new  Ministry  of  Women's  Affairs,  Arts, 
and  Tourism,  and  appointed  a  woman  as  the  first  Minister.   The 
Government  has  also  been  instrumental  in  opening  up  new 
opportunities  for  employment  traditionally  reserved  for  men, 
such  as  in  hospital  work.   According  to  Mauritanian  law,  men 
and  women  must  receive  equal  pay  for  equal  work,  and 
Mauritania's  two  largest  employers,  the  civil  service  and  the 
state  mining  company  SNIM,  respect  this  law.   In  smaller 
private  enterprises,  wages  are  often  determined  by  informal 
bargaining,  leading  to  sometimes  significant  discrepancies  in 
what  two  persons  are  paid  for  the  same  work. 

While  data  are  very  limited,  violence  against  women  does  not 
appear  to  be  prevalent  in  Mauritania.   Female  genital 
mutilation  (circumcision)  is  a  widespread,  traditional 
practice.   The  Government  has  taken  no  position  nor  issued  any 
statements  on  violence  against  women  or  on  genital 
mutilation.   In  some  areas  of  southern  Mauritania,  the  most 
extreme  form  of  mutilation,  inf ibulation,  is  practiced.   Some 
evidence  indicates  that  the  incidence  of  female  excision  is 
diminishing  in  the  modern,  urbanized  sector,  and  for  an 
Islamic  country,  women  are  allowed  a  relatively  great  degree 
of  freedom. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

Workers  are  free  to  establish  unions  at  the  local  and  national 
level.   There  are  currently  36  trade  unions  in  the  country. 
All,  however,  must  be  affiliates  of  the  Union  of  Mauritanian 
Workers  (UTM) ,  by  law  the  country's  only  central  labor 
organization.   The  trade  unions  and  the  UTM  elect  their 
leadership  democratically,  and  they  are  free  to  determine 
their  programs  and  policies,  provided  these  avoid  political 
issues.   The  UTM  is  an  active  member  of  the  International 
Confederation  of  Arab  Trade  Unions  and  the  Organization  of 
African  Trade  Union  Unity. 

Mauritanian  law  grants  workers  the  right  to  strike.   In 
practice,  however,  the  Government  discourages  strikes,  and 
they  rarely  occur.   Under  Mauritanian  law,  tripartite 
arbitration  committees,  composed  of  union,  business,  and 
government  representatives,  may  impose  binding  arbitration 
that  automatically  terminates  any  strike. 

In  recent  years,  the  UTM  had  been  paralyzed  by  bitter 
factional  disputes.   In  early  1989,  elections  and  a  national 
congress  were  held,  and  a  new  leadership  moved  quickly  to 
revitalize  the  UTM.   It  did  not,  however,  voice  any  opposition 
to  the  Government's  dismissal  of  numerous  non-Hassaniya- 
speaking  black  civil  servants  that  occurred  after  April. 


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b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Unions  are  free  to  organize  workers  without  government  or 
employer  interference.   According  to  the  UTM,  close  to  90 
percent  of  industrial  and  commercial  workers  in  Mauritania  are 
members  of  unions.   The  laws  providing  worker's  protection 
against  antiunion  discrimination  are  regularly  enforced. 
Collective  bargaining,  notably  to  set  wages,  occurs  informally 
between  individual  unions  and  employers  but  also  involves  the 
Government  and  the  UTM.   In  addition,  employees  or  employers 
may  bring  labor  disputes  to  three-person  labor  courts  that  are 
overseen  jointly  by  the  Ministries  of  Justice  and  Labor. 
Labor  leaders  regard  these  courts  as  unbiased  and  effective. 
There  are  no  export  processing  zones  in  Mauritania,  and  labor 
laws  are  applied  uniformly  throughout  the  country. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

The  subject  of  forced  labor  is  tied  to  the  vestiges  of  slavery 
which  exist  in  some  areas  of  Mauritania.   Slavery  was 
abolished  officially  only  in  1980,  and  some  persons  whose 
ancestors  had  worked  without  pay  for  generations  for  a 
particular  family  still  occupied  positions  of  servitude  in 
1989.   This  was  due  in  part  to  the  economic  hardships  they 
would  have  encountered  if  they  had  left.   There  were  reports, 
however,  that  in  some  remote  areas  persons  were  sometimes  held 
against  their  will  and  forced  to  perform  unpaid  labor.   The 
authorities  stop  such  practices  when  they  come  to  their 
attention.   The  Taya  regime  is  making  a  systematic  effort  to 
appoint  members  of  the  former  slave  caste  to  high  government 
and  military  positions  as  a  visible  indication  of  the  end  of 
slavery, 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

Education  is  not  compulsory  in  Mauritania,  but  Mauritanian  law 
specifies  that  no  child  may  be  employed  before  the  age  of  13 
in  the  agricultural  sector  without  the  permission  of  the 
Minister  of  Labor,  nor  before  the  age  of  15  in  the 
nonagricultural  sector.   The  law  provides  that  employed 
children  aged  14  through  16  should  receive  70  percent  of  the 
minimum  wage,  and  those  from  17  through  18  should  receive  90 
percent  of  the  minimum  wage.   In  practice,  much  younger 
children  in  the  countryside  pursue  herding,  cultivation,  and 
other  significant  labor  in  support  of  their  families' 
traditional  activities.   Although  there  are  no  data  available, 
child  labor  in  the  nonagricultural  sector  is  not  widespread. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

In  1989  the  guaranteed  minimum  wage  for  adults  was  equivalent 
to  roughly  $70  per  month.   These  wages  barely  enabled  the 
average  family  to  meet  its  minimum  needs.   The  standard, 
nonagricultural  workweek  in  Mauritania  cannot  exceed  either  40 
hours  or  6  days  without  overtime  compensation,  which  is  paid 
at  the  following  rates:   41-48  hours — 115  percent;  49-54 
hours — 140  percent;  55  plus  hours — 150  percent  of  the  base 
wage.   Reliable  data  on  actual  wage  levels  is  scanty  and 
unreliable.   Enforcement  of  the  labor  laws,  the  responsibility 
of  the  Labor  Inspectorate,  Ministry  of  Labor,  is  limited  by 
the  shortage  of  qualified  personnel. 


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A  small,  densely  populated  island  country,  Mauritius  is  a 
parliamentary  democracy  and  a  member  of  the  Commonwealth  of 
Nations.   It  is  governed  by  an  elected  prime  minister,  a 
council  of  ministers,  and  a  legislative  assembly.   The 
Governor  General,  with  largely  ceremonial  powers,  represents 
Queen  Elizabeth  II,  the  titular  Head  of  State.   Elections  at 
national  and  local  levels  take  place  at  regular  intervals. 
There  are  four  major  political  parties,  which  reflect  a  range 
of  ideological  views,  and  several  smaller  parties.   Executive 
power  has  changed  hands  twice  in  the  last  7  years  through  fair 
and  orderly  elections  supervised  by  an  independent 
commission.   Prime  Minister  Jugnauth's  coalition  had  its 
mandate  renewed  in  general  elections  in  August  1987. 

Mauritius  has  no  purely  military  forces;  a  paramilitary 
700-man  Special  Mobile  Force  and  a  240-man  Special  Support 
Unit  are  responsible  for  internal  security.   These  forces, 
under  the  command  of  the  Commissioner  of  Police,  are 
apolitical,  well  trained,  and  backed  by  a  general  duty  police 
force  of  approximately  4,000  men. 

The  economy,  based  on  export-oriented  manufacturing  (mainly 
textiles),  sugar,  and  tourism,  experienced  an  economic  boom 
during  1984-88,  with  an  average  real  growth  rate  of  7  percent 
annually.   Per  capita  income,  in  current  terms,  almost 
doubled,  rising  from  $1,065  in  1984  to  $1,921  in  1988. 
Unemployment  fell  from  21  percent  in  1983  to  3.6  percent  in 
1988,  essentially  a  full-employment  situation.   With  the 
assistance  of  the  World  Bank  and  the  International  Monetary 
Fund,  Mauritius  has  made  remarkable  progress  in  implementing  a 
program  combining  adjustment,  growth,  and  modernization. 
Prospects  for  1989-90,  however,  are  less  optimistic.   The 
emergence  of  labor  and  skills  shortages,  rising  inflation, 
environmental  issues,  and  other  physical  constraints  are 
expected  to  slow  down  economic  growth  to  around  4  percent. 

The  Government  continued  to  demonstrate  respect  for  human 
rights.   Political  and  civil  rights,  including  the  freedoms  of 
speech  and  press,  are  protected  under  the  Mauritian 
Constitution  and  respected  in  practice.   The  August  30,  1987 
elections  for  Parliament  were  preceded  by  intense  campaigning, 
including  regular  public  rallies.   The  controversial  Dangerous 
Drug  Act  of  1986  calls,  among  other  things,  for  the  death 
penalty  for  traffickers.   Under  the  Act,  the  defendant  is 
tried  by  a  judge  without  a  jury,  which  is  contrary  to 
established  practice. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  government-inspired  political  or 
extrajudicial  killings. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  disappearance  of  persons  for 
political  causes. 


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c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Torture  and  inhuman  punishment  are  prohibited  by  law,  and 
there  were  no  reports  of  degrading  treatment  or  punishment. 
Vigorous  enforcement  of  the  Dangerous  Drug  Act  has  led  to  a 
decline  in  drug  demand.   Drug-related  arrests  declined  in  1988 
and  1989. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

There  have  been  no  reports  of  arbitrary  arrests  or  detentions 
since  the  early  1970's.  Detained  persons  have  the  right  to  a 
judicial  determination  of  the  legality  of  their  detention.  In 
practice,  this  determination  is  usually  made  within  24  hours. 
Bail  is  commonly  granted.  The  Supreme  Court  ruled  invalid  in 
1986  a  section  of  the  Dangerous  Drug  Act  of  1986  which  had 
provided  for  detention  without  bail. 

Exile  is  legally  prohibited.   With  regard  to  forced  or 
compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Mauritius'  judicial  system,  modeled  on  that  of  Great  Britain, 
consists  of  the  Supreme  Court,  which  has  appellate  powers,  and 
a  series  of  lower  courts.   Final  appeal  may  be  made  to  the 
Queen's  Privy  Council  in  the  United  Kingdom  and  is  routinely 
made  in  the  cases  of  death  sentences.   There  are  no  political 
or  military  courts.   The  judiciary  is  independent.   The 
Governor  General,  in  consultation  with  the  Prime  Minister, 
nominates  the  Chief  Justice  and,  in  consultation  with  the 
Chief  Justice,  nominates  the  senior  puisne  (associate) 
judges.   The  Governor  General  nominates  other  judges  on  the 
advice  of  the  Judicial  and  Legal  Service  Commissions.   The 
legal  system  has  consistently  provided  fair,  public  trials  to 
those  charged  with  crimes.   Defendants  have  the  right  to 
private  or  court-appointed  counsel.   The  judiciary  is  also 
charged  under  the  Constitution  with  ensuring  that  new  laws  are 
consistent  with  democratic  practice.   There  are  no  political 
prisoners  in  Mauritius. 

The  Dangerous  Drug  Act,  which  includes  a  mandatory  death 
sentence  for  any  person  convicted  of  importing  dangerous 
drugs,  has  been  controversial.   Some  human  rights 
organizations  in  Mauritius,  as  well  as  individual  Mauritians, 
have  criticized  the  provisions  of  the  law  that  call  for  the 
death  penalty  and  that  provide  for  trial  by  a  judge  alone;  all 
other  serious  offenses  are  heard  by  a  nine-member  jury.   At 
the  end  of  1989,  there  were  six  persons  in  prison  convicted  on 
drug  charges  and  under  the  death  sentence. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  sanctity  of  the  home  is  guaranteed  by  law  and  generally 
respected  in  practice.   The  search  of  personal  property  or 
premises  is  allowed  only  under  clearly  specified  conditions  by 
court  order  or  by  police  decision  if  an  illegal  act  has  been 
committed.   There  have  been  reports  from  reliable  sources  that 
the  Government's  intelligence  apparatus  occasionally  opens 
mail  and  carries  out  surveillance  of  local  opposition  leaders 
and  other  major  figures. 


230 


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In  October  1986,  following  the  Rault  Commission  on  Narcotics, 
the  Legislative  Assembly  amended  the  Mauritian  Constitution 
with  regard  to  drug  traffickers  and  drug  trafficking  in 
Mauritius.   The  legislation  increased  the  powers  of  any 
commission  of  inquiry  to  look  into  personal  finances, 
including  bank  accounts;  provided  for  fines  of  persons  who 
refuse  to  testify;  provided  for  fining  a  bank  and  revoking  its 
license  if  it  refuses  to  cooperate  in  a  financial 
investigation;  and  provided  for  the  seizure  of  all  assets  of 
convicted  drug  traffickers  who  cannot  prove  that  their  assets 
were  obtained  legally. 

Section  2  Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Freedom  of  speech  and  press  is  protected  by  the  Constitution 
and  by  local  tradition.   Sixteen  privately  owned  daily, 
weekly,  and  monthily  newspapers  present  varying  political 
viewpoints  and  freely  express  partisan  views.   Newspapers  are 
subject  only  to  the  legal  constraints  of  libel  laws.   The 
Government  owns  the  one  television  and  two  radio  stations  (one 
strictly  educational),  broadcasting  in  five  languages.   The 
television  and  radio  are  reasonably  objective  in  news  and 
entertainment  presentation,  although  opposition  politicians 
occasionally  accuse  the  broadcasting  corporation  of  political 
bias  in  its  news  coverage.   Television  and  radio  broadcasts 
are  also  easily  received  from  the  nearby  island  of  Reunion  (a 
French  Department)  and  are  not  subject  to  interference  by  the 
Government.   However,  any  foreign  satellite  broadcasts,  or 
programs  from  foreign  sources,  which  are  deemed  controversial 
are  subject  to  approval  by  the  Council  of  Ministers  before 
transmission  on  local  television  or  radio. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Mauritians  enjoy  the  right  to  form  associations,  including 
political  parties,  trade  unions,  and  religious  organizations. 
Mauritius  has  a  multitude  of  such  private  organizations. 
Political,  cultural,  and  religious  assemblies  are 
commonplace.   Although  police  permission  is  required  for 
holding  demonstrations  and  mass  meetings,  such  permission  is 
rarely  refused.   The  registered  political  parties  freely  held 
large  public  rallies  during  the  campaign  for  the  August  1987 
general  elections,  the  October  1988  municipal  elections,  and 
the  June  11,  1989,  La  Caverne/Phoenix  by-election. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

There  is  no  official  state  religion  in  Mauritius,  although 
Hindus  are  a  majority.   Hindus,  Christians,  Muslims, 
Buddhists,  and  others  openly  practice,  teach,  and  proselytize 
their  religions  v^ithout  prejudice.   All  religious  institutions 
receive  state  subsidies  in  proportion  to  their  memberships. 
There  is  no  state-sanctioned  discrimination  against  any  ethnic 
or  religious  community.   The  Government  facilitates  the  travel 
of  Mauritians  who  make  the  hajj.   Foreign  missionaries  are  not 
allowed  to  enter  the  country  without  a  prior  request  from  a 
local  religious  organization. 


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d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

There  are  no  restrictions  on  full  freedom  of  movement  within 
the  country.   Foreign  travel  and  emigration  are  also 
unrestricted.   There  is  no  blanket  guarantee  of  repatriation, 
nor  general  criteria  for  processing  applications  for 
repatriation;  applications  from  the  thousands  of  Mauritians 
abroad  are  handled  on  a  case-by-case,  and  sometimes  arbitrary 
basis. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  have  the  right  to  change,  and  do  change  their 
government  through  democratic  means.   Mauritius  is  governed  by 
a  freely  elected,  unicameral  Legislative  Assembly,  with 
executive  direction  coming  from  a  Council  of  Ministers, 
currently  headed  by  Prime  Minister  Sir  Aneerood  Jugnauth  whose 
Alliance  coalition  won  elections  in  1983  and  1987.   The 
Governor  General  has  the  right  to  designate  the  person  charged 
with  forming  a  new  government  following  parliamentary 
elections  or  in  a  parliamentary  crisis.   Parliamentary, 
municipal,  and  village  council  elections  are  held  at  regular 
intervals.   Voting  and  running  for  office  are  rights  of  all 
citizens  18  years  of  age  and  over. 

In  the  Legislative  Assembly,  8  of  the  70  members  are  appointed 
through  a  complex  "best  loser"  system  designed  in  part  to 
ensure  that  all  ethnic  groups  are  adequately  represented.   The 
governing  (3-party)  Alliance  coalition  controls  41  of  the  70 
seats.   Political  parties  often  match  the  ethnicity  or 
religion  of  their  candidates  to  the  composition  of  particular 
electoral  constituencies.   In  the  August  1987  parliamentary 
elections,  89  percent  of  the  553,364  eligible  voters  cast 
ballots.   Only  9,512  votes  separated  the  winning  and  losing 
coalitions.   The  opposition  controls  the  five  major 
municipalities,  and  government  parties  did  not  contest  the 
October  25,  1988,  municipal  elections.   The  governing  Alliance 
won  a  June  11,  1989,  by-election  for  the  Legislative  Assembly 
in  the  constituency  of  La  Caverne/Phoenix. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

There  have  been  no  known  requests  by  international 
organizations  to  investigate  human  rights  violations  in 
Mauritius.   Several  local  human  rights  groups  monitor 
devlopments  without  governmental  restriction. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Although  Mauritius  has  a  Hindu  majority,  the  country's  active 
press  and  strongly  egalitarian  traditions  militate  against 
discrimination  in  all  forms.   However,  tensions  based  on 
ethnicity  and  caste  do  exist. 

Women  in  Mauritius  participate  in  all  types  of  political, 
business,  and  social  activities,  and  a  few  hold  important 
positions.   Nonetheless,  traditional  ethnic  and  religious 
attitudes  hamper  women  in  achieving  true  parity.   The 
Mauritian  Government  seeks  to  improve  the  status  of  women,  and 
recent  amendments  to  laws  ranging  from  emigration  to 


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MAURITIUS 

inheritance  have  removed  sex  discriminatory  sections.   An 
interministerial  committee,  headed  by  one  of  the  female 
ministers,  was  appointed  in  1985  to  address  remaining 
discriminatory  elements  in  local  laws  and  practices.   In  its 
report  in  1988,  the  committee,  which  was  subsequently 
disbanded,  found  that  there  was  little  legal  discrimination 
against  women.   One  notable  exception,  that  women  cannot  serve 
on  juries,  may  be  amended  in  1990.   The  Government  decided  in 
July  to  appoint  "desk  officers"  in  the  major  ministries  to 
oversee  women's  activities  and  ensure  that  the  promotion  of 
the  interests  of  women  are  taken  into  account. 

According  to  the  Ministry  of  Women's  Rights  and  Family 
Welfare,  physicians,  attorneys,  and  religious  and  charitable 
organizations,  the  problem  of  violence  against  women  exists 
and  appears  to  be  fairly  prevalent,  although  no  reliable 
statistics  are  available.   There  are  no  special  provisions  in 
Mauritian  law  concerning  family  violence;  there  are  virtually 
no  institutions  that  attempt  to  deal  with  the  problem.   The 
Government's  concern  about  the  issue  of  violence  against  women 
has  been  evident,  however.   This  concern  was  officially 
manifested  in  June  1989  when  the  Ministry  of  Women's  Rights 
and  Family  Welfare  established  a  family  counseling  service, 
managed  by  the  National  Council  of  Women,  whose  mandate  is  to 
provide  family  counseling  and  legal  advice.   Some  300  persons 
have  availed  themselves  of  counseling  in  the  intervening 
period.   This  counseling  has  run  the  gamut  of  family  problems, 
of  which  spouse  abuse  is  only  one  of  the  issues.   However,  no 
specific  campaign  against  spouse  abuse  has  been  undertaken. 
Police  authorities  are  generally  reluctant  to  get  involved  in 
instances  of  wife  beating;  penalties  are  rarely  imposed  and 
tend  to  be  light.   Spouse  abuse  is  not  publicly  discussed  in 
Mauritius. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

Mauritius  has  an  active  trade  union  movement.   Almost  300 
unions  represent  about  100,000  workers,  more  than  one-fourth 
of  the  work  force.   Unions  are  free  to  organize  workers  in  all 
sectors,  including  the  export  processing  zone  (EPZ)  which 
employs  about  90,000  workers.   Less  than  10  percent  of  EPZ 
workers  are  believed  to  be  unionized.   Unions  can  press  wage 
demands,  establish  ties  to  domestic  political  parties  and 
international  organizations,  and  address  political  issues. 
Three  of  the  five  trade  union  activists  who  ran  in  the  August 
30,  1987,  general  elections  were  elected  to  the  Legislative 
Assembly  on  the  government  slate.   Wages  have  become  a  major 
issue  in  recent  years  as  inflation  has  accelerated. 

In  theory,  unions  have  the  right  to  strike.   However,  in  labor 
disputes,  the  British-modeled  Industrial  Relations  Act  (IRA) 
of  1973  requires  a  prestrike,  21-day  cooling-off  period 
followed  by  binding  arbitration,  which  has  the  effect  of 
making  most  strikes  illegal.   Refusal  to  follow  IRA  procedures 
in  a  mid-1988  textile  plant  strike  led  to  the  imprisonment  of 
three  union  leaders  for  several  days.   Government  supported 
labor/management  negotiations  ultimately  led  to  the 
reemployment  of  most  of  the  striking  workers.   A  general 
strike  called  by  the  trade  unions  for  July  4,  1989,  received 
far  less  support  than  expected. 

One  leading  federation  actively  supports  the  opposition  party 
and  is  affiliated  with  the  Communist-controlled  World 


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Federation  of  Trade  Unions.   The  largest  confederation,  the 
Mauritian  Labor  Congress,  is  a  member  of  the  International 
Confederation  of  Free  Trade  Unions. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

While  the  right  of  association  is  guaranteed  by  law,  there  is 
no  legal  provision  for  collective  bargaining,  which  is  neither 
protected  nor  promoted  by  the  Government.   In  fact,  the 
Government  has  imposed  restraints  on  the  collective  bargaining 
system  which  render  it  ineffective. 

The  Government  has  established  a  National  Remuneration  Board 
(NRB)  whose  chairman  is  appointed  by  the  Minister  of  Labor, 
The  NRB  establishes  minimum  wages  for  26  categories  of  private 
sector  workers  (sugar,  tea,  transport,  etc.)  which  apply 
equally  to  export  processing  zone  workers.   Although 
originally  established  to  set  minimum  wages  for  nonunion 
workers,  the  NRB  has  broadened  its  powers  and  now  issues 
remuneration  orders  that  establish  minimum  wages,  bonuses, 
housing  and  transportation  allowances,  and  other  benefits  for 
almost  all  private  sector  workers.   About  85  percent  of  all 
private  sector  workers  (including  unionized  workers)  are 
covered  by  NRB  orders.   Employers  and  unions  are  free  to 
negotiate  wages  and  benefits  above  the  minimums  established  by 
the  NRB,  but  this  is  rare.   Wages  and  benefits  for  civil 
servants  are  established  by  the  Pay  Research  Bureau  (PRB)  on 
the  basis  of  the  annual  Chesworth  Report  recommendations.   NRB 
remuneration  orders  set  minimum  wages  by  sector  but  also 
establish  a  wage  structure  based  on  length  of  service  and  job 
classification.   NRB  orders  thus  set  wages  for  skilled  and 
experienced  workers  whose  earnings  are  well  above  the  minimum 
wage.   The  PRB  functions  in  a  similar  way  for  the  civil 
service. 

The  Government  has  also  established  a  Tripartite  Committee, 
including  employer  and  trade  union  representatives,  which 
meets  once  a  year  and  is  chaired  by  the  Minister  of  Finance. 
It  can  only  recommend  wage  increases  to  the  Government  based 
on  inflation.   Its  recommendations  are  not  always  unanimous, 
however,  and  the  Government  makes  its  decision  on  the  basis  of 
all  the  information  it  receives. 

The  International  Labor  Organization  (ILO)  Committee  of 
Experts  (COE)  has  for  some  time  noted  that  the  Industrial 
Relations  Act  does  not  give  workers'  organizations  sufficient 
protection  against  acts  of  interference  as  provided  for  by  ILO 
Convention  98  on  the  right  to  organize  and  bargain 
collectively. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Forced  or  compulsory  labor  is  prohibited  by  law  and  is  not 
practiced.   The  COE,  however,  has  noted  that  sections  of  the 
IRA,  which  empower  the  Minister  to  refer  any  industrial 
dispute  to  compulsory  arbitration,  enforceable  by  penalties 
involving  compulsory  labor,  are  in  conflict  with  ILO 
Convention  105  on  the  Abolition  of  Forced  Labor. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  minimum  work  age  is  15.   The  Ministry  of  Labor  is 
responsible  for  enforcing  child  labor  laws.   In  practice, 
there  is  minimal  enforcement  of  these  laws,  especially  in 
EPZ-related  industries  where  a  labor  shortage  exists. 


234 

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e.   Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

Conditions  of  employment,  including  wage  and  leave  conditions, 
are  generally  sufficient  to  afford  an  acceptable  standard  of 
living  for  workers  in  the  agricultural,  service,  and 
manufacturing  sectors.   However,  the  current  rate  paid  for 
unskilled  labor,  $8  per  week  during  the  first  year  and  $10  per 
week  thereafter,  is  barely  sufficient  for  a  worker  to  have  a 
minimum  standard  of  living,  and  much  depends  in  this  respect 
on  the  type  of  additional  benefits  offered.   The  Government 
mandates  minimum  wage  increases  each  year  based  on  inflation. 

A  maximum  workweek  of  45  hours  is  allowed.   Excessive  overtime 
continues  to  be  a  problem  in  the  EPZ .   The  Government 
addressed  this  issue  in  1987  due  to  complaints  that  EPZ 
employers  imposed  long  hours  of  overtime  on  employees — about 
10-20  hours  per  week  making  for  a  55-65  hour  workweek.   In 
addition,  some  EPZ  employers  still  require  women  to  work  at 
night . 

The  Government  sets  health  and  safety  standards,  and 
conditions  are  inspected  by  Ministry  of  Labor  officials. 
Enforcement  is  limited  due  to  the  small  number  of  inspectors. 


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Mozambique  is  a  one-party  state  in  which  effective  power  is 
concentrated  in  the  hands  of  President  Joaquim  Chissano  and 
top  officials  of  the  party,  the  Front  for  the  Liberation  of 
Mozambique,  or  FRELIMO.   The  Constitution  gives  the  President 
extensive  powers  to  appoint  and  dismiss  top  officials  in  the 
ministries,  courts,  military  and  security  organizations,  and 
provincial  governments. 

Since  the  late  1970 's,  the  FRELIMO  Government  has  been  under 
attack  from  an  insurgent  group,  the  Mozambican  National 
Resistance,  or  RENAMO.   Despite  agreements  between  Mozambique 
and  South  Africa  in  1984  and  1989,  and  the  revival  of  a  joint 
Mozambican-South  African  security  commission  aimed  at 
investigating  and  ending  support  to  RENAMO,  most  Mozambican 
policymakers  believe  aid  from  South  African  and  other  foreign 
groups  continues. 

The  security  forces  include  the  armed  forces  of  Mozambique 
(FPLM) ,  numbering  about  60,000  soldiers,  a  people's  militia, 
and  the  Mozambican  National  Security  Service  (SNASP) .   For  its 
part,  RENAMO  claims  to  have  25,000  men  under  arms  and  an 
additional  3,000  trainees.   More  than  7,000  Zimbabwean  troops 
are  assisting  government  forces,  primarily  in  central 
Mozambique,  with  the  objective  of  keeping  the  Harare-Beira 
railroad  open.   Approximately  700  to  800  Malawian  troops  are 
assisting  in  keeping  the  Nacala  rail  line  open. 

Mozambique  has  a  mixed  economy,  consisting  of  state-owned 
enterprises,  cooperatives,  and  private  enterprises.   Up  to  85 
percent  of  the  population,  however,  is  employed  in  small 
scale,  semisubsistence  agriculture.   Once  a  self-proclaimed 
Marxist-Leninist  party,  the  FRELIMO  Fifth  Party  Congress  in 
July  removed  the  reference  to  Marxism  and  endorsed  the 
2-year-old  economic  reform  plan  which  has  fostered  currency 
devaluations,  budgetary  cuts,  and  reductions  in  the  areas  of 
the  economy  reserved  exclusively  for  state  enterprises.   While 
growth  in  1989  was  projected  at  4  percent,  the  continuing 
civil  conflict  has  undercut  many  of  the  benefits  of  the 
reforms.   RENAMO  deliberately  attacks  economic  targets;  in 
some  areas,  the  prevailing  anarchy  has  led  to  the  total 
breakdown  of  internal  trade.   A  combination  of  war  and 
unfavorable  weather  has  disrupted  food  production  to  the  point 
that  a  third  of  the  nation's  population  is  thought  to  be 
dependent  on  international  food  aid. 

Human  rights  were  tightly  circumscribed  in  1989.   Major  human 
rights  concerns  were  harsh  prison  conditions;  the  use  of 
arbitrary,  incommunicado  detention,  especially  by  SNASP;  the 
denial  of  fair  trials;  restrictions  on  freedoms  of  press, 
assembly,  and  association,  and  the  right  of  citizens  to  change 
their  government;  and  serious  limitations  on  worker  rights. 
However,  it  became  more  possible  during  the  year  for  people  to 
voice  their  views,  including  in  people's  assemblies  and  public 
meetings.   The  Government  and  party,  especially  at  the  Fifth 
Party  Congress  in  July,  continued  to  address  some  of  the 
abuses,  reorganizing  the  legal  system  to  reduce  SNASP  and 
military  dominanace  of  the  judiciary.   A  new  constitution 
which  included  a  bill  of  rights  was  discussed  in  party  forums 
at  the  end  of  the  year  and  proposed  to  the  public  on  January 
9,  1990.   Publication  and  ratification  are  expected  in  1990. 

The  most  blatant  abuses  of  basic  human  rights  occurred  as  a 
direct  result  of  the  conflict.   Widespread  reports  of 
massacres  directed  against  civilians,  kidnapings,  torture,  and 


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looting  continued  throughout  the  year.   Most  of  these 
atrocities  were  attributed  to  RENAMO,  but  some  were  also 
attributed  to  government  forces.   Seeking  an  end  to  the  civil 
war,  which  has  cost  600,000  lives,  the  Government  launched  a 
peace  initiative  in  January,  using  Mozambican  religious 
leaders  and  Kenyan  and  Zimbabwean  mediators  to  explore 
contacts.   Despite  these  efforts,  at  the  end  of  1989  fighting 
had  intensified.   An  estimated  2  million  people  were 
displaced,  half  of  them  living  in  refugee  camps  in  neighboring 
countries,  the  remainder  living  in  "accommodation  centers" 
throughout  the  country. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

Both  sides  were  again  responsible  for  the  deaths  of  civilians 
in  the  course  of  their  conflict  (see  Section  l.g.).   Most  of 
the  killings  are  attributed  to  RENAMO  forces.   Deplorable 
prison  conditions  resulted  in  some  deaths  (see  Section  I.e.). 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  government-perpetrated  disappearances 
in  1989.   However,  there  are  thousands  missing  due  to  the 
conflict,  including  as  a  result  of  kidnapings  in  areas 
affected  by  the  war.   RENAMO,  in  particular,  regularly  holds 
civilians  against  their  will,  often  employing  them  as  porters 
or  forcibly  impressing  them. 

Amnesty  International  (AI),  in  a  special  1989  report, 
expressed  its  concern  about  several  disappearance  cases, 
including  those  of  Uria  Simangi  and  Joana  Simeno,  and  sought, 
without  success,  information  from  the  Government  on  the 
whereabouts  of  a  number  of  political  opponents  of  the 
Government  who  disappeared  from  detention  in  the  mid-1970's. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Both  government  and  RENAMO  forces  have  been  accused  of 
torturing  prisoners  and  civilians.   Journalist  William 
Finnegan  described  one  1989  incident  in  which  FPLM  soldiers 
severely  beat  a  farmer  they  suspected  of  collaborating  with 
RENAMO.   RENAMO's  systematic  practice  of  beating  or  mutilating 
civilians  continued  unabated  in  1989.   According  to  many 
reports,  RENAMO  has  cut  off  lips,  ears,  breasts,  and  limbs, 
burned  or  buried  people  alive,  and  forced  family  members  to 
witness  or  participate  in  the  tortures  of  their  relatives. 
Former  RENAMO  soldiers  claimed  that  threats  of  beating  and 
torture  were  used  to  keep  forced  recruits  from  escaping. 

In  September  the  National  People's  Assembly  repealed,  for  both 
military  and  civilian  courts,  Mozambique's  controversial 
"flogging  law"  which  allowed  people  convicted  of  certain 
offenses  to  be  punished  by  whipping.   In  practice,  very  few 
courts  have  imposed  the  flogging  penalty,  although  military 
courts  sentenced  two  soldiers  to  flogging  in  the  final  weeks 
before  the  law  was  repealed.   In  February  charges  were  brought 
against  an  agent  of  the  popular  police  in  Maputo,  because  he 
had  ordered  two  women  flogged  without  due  process. 


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Prison  conditions  in  Mozambique  remain  life  threatening.   In 
June  the  local  press  reported  that  15  prisoners  had  starved  to 
death  in  a  prison  in  Manica  Province.   Prison  officials  failed 
to  purchase  adequate  food.   The  officials  said  severe  budget 
cuts  and  inflation  had  deprived  them  of  sufficient  resources. 
In  the  aftermath  of  the  scandal,  provincial  authorites 
launched  an  investigation  of  prison  conditions  and  increased 
the  prison  budget. 

Since  1988  the  Government  has  allowed  the  International 
Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  (ICRC)  access  to  the  prisons  where 
national  security  prisoners,  both  those  already  convicted  and 
those  awaiting  trial,  are  held.   RENAMO  does  not  permit  ICRC 
access  to  areas  under  its  control,  claiming  that  it  holds  no 
prisoners . 

d.   Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

The  law  requires  that  in  most  cases  detainees  be  charged  or 
released  within  30  days.   However,  persons  accused  of  the  most 
serious  crimes  can  be  detained  for  up  to  84  days  without  being 
formally  charged  or  investigated.   With  court  approval,  such 
detainees  can  then  be  held  for  two  additional  periods  of  84 
days  while  the  police  complete  their  investigation.   While 
detained,  persons  have  the  constitutional  right  to  counsel  and 
to  contact  relatives  and  friends.   In  some  cases,  detainees 
may  be  released  from  prison  while  the  investigation  proceeds, 
but  the  bail  system  in  Mozambique  remains  ill-defined.   The 
law  provides  that  if  the  prescribed  period  for  investigation 
has  been  completed  and  no  charges  have  been  brought,  the 
detainee  must  be  released.   In  practice,  however,  this  is 
often  overlooked,  in  part  because  of  the  severe  lack  of 
administrative  resources  and  trained  lawyers. 

The  security  police  (SNASP)  organized  under  the  Ministry  of 
National  Security,  have  the  power  to  arrest  persons  accused  of 
political  and  economic  crimes  against  the  State,  such  as 
espionage  or  sabotage.   In  September  the  Government  restored 
the  right  of  political  prisoners  to  submit  habeas  corpus 
petitions.   These  detainees  now  have  the  same  rights  as  other 
prisoners:   to  contact  a  lawyer  and  to  be  charged  or  released 
within  a  set  period  of  time.   In  practice,  these  guarantees 
are  also  often  overlooked  due  a  lack  of  administrative 
resources.   The  SNASP  can  also  order  preventive  detention,  for 
indefinite  periods,  and  many  persons  are  never  brought  before 
a  court.   These  detainees  are  often  held  incommunicado  and  do 
not  have  the  right  to  challenge  the  legality  of  their 
detention. 

The  number  of  political/security  detainees  awaiting  trial  as 
distinguished  from  those  that  had  been  convicted  was  unknown 
at  year's  end.   An  estimated  600  prisoners  were  held  in  SNASP 
military  prisons  at  the  end  of  1989.   In  August  under  the 
authority  of  the  amnesty  law,  the  Ministry  of  Justice  ordered 
the  release  of  1,600  prisoners  from  civilian  prisons, 
including  100  security  prisoners  convicted  under  the  defunct 
Revolutionary  Military  Tribunal. 

There  were  no  reports  of  anyone  being  exiled  from  Mozambique 
during  1989.   The  law  of  amnesty,  first  promulgated  for  a 
12-month  period  in  1987,  remained  in  force  throughout  1989. 
The  Government  maintains  that  this  amnesty  permits  any  RENAMO 
member  to  return  to  civilian  life  and  participate  in  the 
political  life  of  the  country.   Over  3,000  ex-RENAMO  members 
reportedly  returned  in  1988.   The  Government  claimed  that 


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thousands  more  accepted  amnesty  in  1989,  although  many  of 
these  were  probably  civilians  living  in  RENAMO-cont rolled 
areas  rather  than  actual  fighters.   There  have  been  few 
reports  of  mistreatment  of  amnestied  RENAMO  members. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Mozambique  now  has  two  complementary  justice  systems:   the 
civil/criminal,  composed  of  the  judiciary  under  the  Ministry 
of  Justice  and  a  police  force  under  the  Ministry  of  Interior; 
and  the  military  justice  system,  under  the  Ministry  of 
National  Security.   The  latter  has  jurisdiction  over  most 
cases  involving  crimes  committed  by  military  personnel  and 
cases  of  crimes  by  civilians  which  adversely  affect  the 
military.   A  separate  court  system  for  national  security 
crimes,  the  Revolutionary  Military  Tribunal,  was  abolished  in 
December  1988.   The  Minister  of  Justice  appoints  judges  at  the 
district  and  provincial  level,  while  the  President  appoints 
judges  to  the  newly  formed  Supreme  Court. 

With  the  establishment  of  the  Supreme  People's  Court  and  the 
appointment  of  Supreme  Court  justices  in  the  final  months  of 
1988,  the  Mozambican  legal  system  took  on  the  final  form 
envisaged  in  the  1976  judiciary  organization  law.   Persons 
accused  of  crimes  against  the  security  of  the  people  and  the 
State  (i.e.,  the  majority  of  political  prisoners)  are  now 
tried  by  the  provincial  courts  under  standard  criminal 
judicial  procedures,  with  the  right  of  appeal  to  the  Supreme 
Court.   This  represents  a  significant  improvement  over  trials 
conducted  by  the  former  Revolutionary  Military  Tribunal. 

Nonpolitical  trials  conducted  by  the  regular  civil  and 
criminal  court  system  are  generally  fair,  are  held  in  public, 
and  carry  the  right  of  appeal.   However,  a  large  backlog  of 
pending  cases  has  resulted  in  long  waiting  periods  before 
cases  are  brought  to  trial.   Political  trials  can  be  held  in 
public;  but  SNASP  can  order  that  a  specific  trial  be  closed. 

In  theory,  SNASP' s  influence  over  the  judicial  process  has 
been  greatly  reduced,  although  its  extensive  detention  powers 
are  apparently  unchanged.   Whether  provincial  courts  will  be 
able  to  resist  executive  and  military  influence  in  political 
and  security  cases  has  yet  to  be  tested.   As  far  as  is  known, 
there  were  no  such  cases  tried  at  the  provincial  level  in  1989. 

In  addition  to  the  regular  people's  courts  at  the  provincial 
and  district  levels,  there  are  at  the  local  level  customary 
courts  which  handle  matters  such  as  estate  and  divorce  cases. 
The  proceedings  are  usually  conducted  in  public  by  a  trained 
representative  of  the  Ministry  of  Justice,  assisted  by  two  or 
four  popularly  elected  lay  judges  instructed  to  exercise 
common  sense  and  to  apply  locally  accepted  principles. 

The  Military  Crimes  and  Military  Tribunal  law  which  took 
effect  in  1988  established  a  nationwide  system  of  brigade 
courts  and  provincial  military  courts  and  specified 
military-related  crimes. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence. 

In  areas  of  active  insurgency,  homes  are  entered  at  will  by 
security  or  police  forces.   It  is  widely  assumed  that 


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surveillance  devices  are  employed  to  monitor  local  and 
international  telecommunications  systems  and  that  mail  is 
periodically  inspected. 

g.   Use  of  Excessive  Force  and  Violations  of  Humanitarian 
Law  in  Internal  Conflicts 

In  1989  RENAMO  staged  a  series  of  attacks  in  every  province  of 
the  country.   The  Government  responded  with  a  July  offensive 
on  RENAMO' s  headquarters  in  central  Mozambique.   Both 
government  (FPLM)  and  RENAMO  forces  were  again  responsible  for 
violations  of  humanitarian  law  in  1989,  although  RENAMO  abuses 
continued  to  be  much  more  widespread  and  systematic.   Attacks 
against  civilians  were  reported  almost  daily,  and,  given  the 
remoteness  of  much  of  the  countryside,  many  more  attacks 
undoubtedly  went  unreported. 

In  January  refugees  crossing  into  Malawi  from  Tete  Province 
said  that  in  several  separate  instances  FPLM  forces  had  herded 
suspected  RENAMO  sympathizers  into  their  huts,  which  were  then 
set  ablaze.   Although  the  refugees  were  vague  about  numbers, 
scores  of  people  died.   In  general,  however,  FRELIMO  abuses, 
especially  summary  executions,  have  declined  since  the 
implementation  of  the  Government's  heavily  publicized  amnesty 
program.   Government  forces  occasionally  forced  rural  people 
into  guarded  villages,  especially  in  areas  where  local 
sympathies  for  RENAMO  were  thought  to  be  high.   A  Maputo  daily 
newspaper  reported  that  civilians,  mainly  in  rural  areas, 
complain  of  living  in  fear  of  FRELIMO  soldiers'  misconduct, 
especially  in  their  abuse  of  women.   AI  reports  that  in  May 
and  June  1989  six  soldiers  and  militia  members  were  charged 
with  various  offenses.   The  local  media  have  published 
accounts  of  punishments  for  such  abuse. 

Numerous  credible  sources  report  that  RENAMO  still  executes 
noncombatants  after  attacks  on  villages,  often  hacking  or 
burning  people  to  death,  apparently  to  intimidate  would-be 
resisters.   Such  assassinations  are  especially  aimed  at  any 
representative  of  the  Government,  including  party  officials, 
school  teachers,  and  health  workers.   In  one  such  attack  on  a 
communal  village  in  Gaza  Province  in  the  south,  54  civilians 
are  said  to  have  died.   In  March  RENAMO  killed  three  Italian 
Capuchin  priests  and  held  one  captive  briefly  after  attacking 
their  mission.   In  July,  apparently  timed  for  the  Fifth  Party 
Congress,  RENAMO  forces  attacked  a  suburb  6  miles  north  of 
Maputo,  killing  four  civilians,  and,  according  to  government 
sources,  torturing  four  others,  including  an  8-year  old  child, 
by  cutting  off  their  ears.   Also  in  July  RENAMO  guerrillas 
reportedly  killed  more  than  80  civilians  in  an  attack  on 
Ressano  Garcia,  a  town  close  to  the  South  African  border. 

Numerous  other  refugee  accounts  accuse  RENAMO  of 
systematically  kidnaping  civilians,  including  children,  some 
in  their  early  teens,  who  are  forced  to  bear  arms  for 
RENAMO.    RENAMO  also  forces  civilians,  after  an  attack  on 
their  settlement,  to  carry  confiscated  items  back  to  RENAMO 
camps;  those  prisoners  too  weak  to  keep  up  are  sometimes 
killed.   Prisoners  allegedly  are  forced  to  cultivate  food  for 
the  insurgents,  and  violence  against  women,  including  rape,  is 
common.   RENAMO' s  policy  of  deliberate  destruction  of  economic 
targets,  including  factories  and  land  transportation 
facilities,  has  touched  off  famine  conditions  in  some  areas, 
particularly  Zambezia  Province.   Relief  convoys,  health 
workers,  and  clinics  were  frequently  targeted  for  attack. 


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Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

In  1989  Mozambicans  were  allowed  to  speak  freely  on  many 
issues,  but  press  freedom  was  restricted.   The  Constitution 
provides  for  freedom  of  speech  and  opinion  and  citizens  are 
officially  encouraged  to  express  their  views  in  grassroots  and 
higher  level  party  meetings.   The  FRELIMO  Fifth  Party  Congress 
in  July  was  the  culmination  of  a  year-long  debate  on 
wide-ranging  policy  matters  in  party  assemblies  nationwide. 

The  national  media  remain  small  and  controlled.   The  two  radio 
stations  and  one  television  station  are  government  owned;  the 
print  media  are  owned  by  private  entities,  but  the  Government 
makes  key  management  decisions  and  provides  subsidies.   There 
is  no  prior  censorship,  but  it  is  understood  that  the  press 
must  follow  certain  guidelines;  it  cannot  contradict 
government  policy,  and  it  must  support  the  general  goals  of 
FRELIMO.   Within  these  limits  the  media  can  engage  in  vigorous 
investigative  reporting.   In  1989  the  media  featured  freguent 
press  exposes  of  incidents  of  official  abuse  of  power, 
bureaucratic  mismanagement,  and  government  and  military 
corruption. 

Given  the  problems  of  poverty,  illiteracy,  and  shortage  of 
hard  currency,  the  market  for  books  and  publications  is 
small.   However,  some  foreign  publications,  including 
independent  Western  news  magazines,  do  occasionally  appear  in 
bookstores.   Church  groups  circulate  newsletters  and  pastoral 
letters.   Western  journalists  (including  Americans)  are 
welcome  in  Mozambigue,  and  the  Government  assists  in  their 
visits.   Regular  foreign  radio  broadcasts  and  South  African 
television  are  received  without  interference  or  restrictions. 

Academic  freedom  is  circumscribed.  Some  attempt  is  made  to 
encourage  teachers  to  promote  pro-FRELIMO  patriotism  and  to 
provide  texts  with  a  similar  bias.  In  fact,  resource 
limitations  render  these  attempts  ineffectual.  Students  at 
the  university  level  complain  of  "elitism"  on  the  part  of 
senior  professors  which  discourages  the  full  interchange  of 
ideas  more  than  they  complain  of  ideological  limitations  on 
debate. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

No  political  organization  is  permitted  outside  the  party.   The 
Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  assembly  and  association, 
but  it  also  makes  FRELIMO,  the  "guide  of  the  organs  of  state 
power,"  the  only  legal  political  organization.   All  mass 
organizations,  such  as  the  women's  and  youth's  organizations 
and  the  sole  labor  union,  are  associated  with  the  party. 
Nonpolitical  association  is  uncommon,  but  permitted  (e.g., 
leading  private  businessmen  formed  an  association  in  1988) . 

Organized  protest  and  demonstrations  are  rare.   One  major 
exception  was  a  student  strike  in  May  at  Eduardo  Mondlane 
University.   Students,  while  carefully  stressing  that  theirs 
was  not  a  political  movement,  demanded  improved  living 
conditions,  scholarships,  and  a  more  representative  student 
organization  than  that  provided  by  the  FRELIMO- linked 
organization  of  Mozambican  youth.   Eventually,  high  government 
officials  addressed  some  of  their  demands,  and  the  students 
returned  peacefully  to  their  classes,  without  penalty. 


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For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

The  Constitution  mandates  strict  separation  of  church  and 
state  and  guarantees  individuals  the  freedom  to  "practice  or 
not  practice  a  religion."   Religious  institutions,  however, 
are  required  to  "conform  with  the  State's  laws."   The 
Government  does  not  require  religious  organizations  or 
missionaries  to  register,  and  foreign  missionaries  are  readily 
granted  visas. 

In  the  early  postindependence  period,  relations  between  the 
Government  and  religious  organizations  were  frequently  tense 
and  characterized  by  numerous  expropriations  of  church 
property  and  official  criticism  of  religious  activities  and 
beliefs.   In  recent  years,  however,  the  Government  has 
attempted  a  rapproachement  with  religious  institutions  that 
intensified  in  1989.   The  Government  and  party  leaders  praised 
major  denominations  for  their  contribution  to  Mozambican 
social  development,  and  the  Fifth  Party  Congress  decided  to 
allow  private  entities,  presumably  including  religious 
institutions,  to  operate  schools.   In  December  the  Government 
returned  the  Maputo  synagogue  to  the  local  Jewish  community. 
In  the  formal  dialog  between  the  Government  and  leaders  from 
several  religious  denominations,  the  discussions  centered  on  a 
comprehensive  law  to  resolve  such  issues  as  the  extent  to 
which  religious  groups  can  print  and  distribute  publications, 
the  ownership  of  some  expropriated  church  properties,  and 
whether  Muslim  women  can  be  exempt  from  obligatory  military 
service.   However,  the  Government  has  not  yet  returned  a 
Maputo  church  seminary  or  passed  legislation  on  religious 
freedom,  as  it  had  indicated  it  would  do. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

As  an  emergency  security  measure  and  to  prevent  evasion  of 
conscription,  the  Government  requires  all  citizens  to  obtain 
travel  permits  from  the  local  authorities.   In  practice,  this 
directive  is  often  ignored  because  of  the  lack  of 
administrative  control  and  resources  in  parts  of  the 
countryside.   However,  many  religious  leaders  complain  that 
government  security  regulations  requiring  missionaries  and 
others  to  seek  permission  for  interprovincial  travel 
interferes  unduly  with  their  work.   The  Government  also 
requires  people  to  move  from  areas  designated  as  security 
zones.   There  is  no  exile  or  revocation  of  Mozambican 
citizenship  for  political  reasons. 

Presently,  some  385  refugees  of  various  nationalities, 
including  South  African,  have  successfully  sought  refugee 
status  in  Mozambique.   These  refugees  receive  material  aid 
from  the  United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  (UNHCR) 
with  the  full  cooperation  of  the  Mozambican  Government.   There 
are  no  reported  cases  in  which  refugees  have  been  forced  to 
return  to  countries  where  they  have  a  well-founded  fear  of 
persecution. 

Security  conditions  have  forced  many  Mozambicans  to  leave 
their  homes.   An  estimated  1  million  are  internal  refugees, 
living  mainly  in  displaced  persons  camps  scattered  throughout 
the  country.   In  these  camps,  they  receive  emergency  aid  from 
the  Government  and  from  the  international  community.   Many 


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thousands  more  have  taken  refuge  in  neighboring  countries. 
According  to  recent  estimates,  627,700  Mozambican  refugees  are 
in  Malawi  alone.   Other  receiving  countries  include  Zimbabwe, 
with  74,000  refugees;  Tanzania,  72,000;  Zambia,  24,000;  and 
Swaziland,  10,000.   Another  38,000  are  thought  to  be  in  South 
Africa,  although  this  estimate  is  only  an  approximation,  given 
the  difficulty  in  distinguishing  economic  migrants  from 
displaced  persons  and  refugees. 

While  Mozambican  law  does  not  address  the  issue  of  emigration, 
in  practice  the  Government  does  not  interfere  with  those  who 
wish  to  leave.   The  Government  readily  accepts  and  aids 
repatriates.   An  estimated  116,000  refugees  have  returned  to 
Mozambigue,  some  on  their  own  initiative  and  some  through 
UNHCR  voluntary  repatriation  programs  coordinated  with 
neighboring  governments.   South  Africa  routinely  repatriates 
undocumented  Mozambicans,  although  in  recent  well-publicized 
instances,  they  have  allowed  the  temporary  entry  of  villagers 
who  are  fleeing  RENAMO  attack.   The  Government  has  protested 
these  involuntary  repatriations,  including  from  Zimbabwe,  but 
is  unable  to  prevent  them. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  do  not  have  the  right  to  change  their  government  or 
the  laws  that  govern  them.   In  practice,  the  President  and  the 
Council  of  Ministers  control  policymaking  and  implementation. 
The  President  has  extensive  appointive  powers  in  both  his 
government  and  party  roles.   He  sets  policy  guidelines  in 
consultation  with  the  12-person  Politburo  and  the  164-member 
Central  Committee  of  FRELIMO,  whose  members  are  elected  at 
party  congresses  at  5-year  intervals.   The  Constitution  does 
not  allow  the  formation  of  new  or  dissenting  parties. 
Non-FRELIMO  party  members,  however,  may  and  do  participate  in 
the  Government,  including  at  the  ministerial  level. 

People  may  choose  delegates  to  a  series  of  hierarchically 
organized  peoples'  assemblies,  including  the  National  People's 
Assembly,  from  a  slate  of  candidates  prepared  by  FRELIMO.   The 
peoples'  assemblies  have  been  the  scenes  of  occasional 
spirited  debates,  but  they  function  largely  as  advisory 
bodies,  with  little  real  power  to  initiate  policies  not 
sanctioned  by  high-level  authorities. 

Following  the  contacts  between  church  leaders  and  RENAMO 
groups  in  Kenya,  the  Government  and  party  publicly  backed 
peace  talks  with  RENAMO.   The  Fifth  Party  Congress  endorsed  a 
negotiated  settlement  but  stipulated  that  RENAMO  must  agree  to 
renounce  violence  and  support  the  current  Government,  its  laws 
and  Constitution.   President  Chissano  also  asked  the 
Presidents  of  Kenya  and  Zimbabwe  to  help  mediate  the 
conflict.   For  its  part  RENAMO  demands  free  elections  and  a 
multiparty  system.   However,  there  is  considerable  variance 
between  RENAMO' s  demands  and  its  practices  in  its  areas  of 
operations.   RENAMO  has  not  established  any  recognizable 
administrative  machinery  that  might  provide  a  more  concrete 
indicator  of  its  plan  of  government. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  was  increasingly  receptive  to  international 
human  rights  monitoring  groups  in  1989.   An  AI  delegation 


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MOZAMBIQUE 

visited  Mozambique  in  September,  at  the  Government's 
invitation,  and  AI ' s  subsequent  report  commanded  favorable,  if 
selective,  comment  by  the  Government.    The  decision  to  repeal 
the  law  on  flogging  may  have  been  influenced  by  concern 
expressed  by  various  international  groups. 

The  ICRC  now  has  access  to  security  prisons  nationwide  and  is 
likely  to  begin  visits  to  civilian  prisons,  where  some 
security  prisoners  are  reportedly  held.   The  Ministry  of 
Justice  and  the  ICRC  organized  a  conference  on  human  rights  in 
March  to  discuss  the  application  of  human  rights  principles  in 
international  human  rights  conventions  and  the  problems  of 
refugees  and  asylum  in  Mozambique.   U.N.  agencies,  such  as  the 
UNHCR  and  the  International  Labor  Organization  (ILO),  also 
have  programs  in  the  country. 

There  are  no  internal  Mozambican  human  rights  organizations, 
either  official  or  independent.   Current  restrictions  on 
freedoms  of  speech  and  press  would  make  it  difficult,  if  not 
impossible,  for  any  group  to  report  fully  and  objectively  on 
the  Government's  human  rights  policies. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

According  to  official  government  policy  and  pronouncements, 
Mozambique  is  a  multiracial,  nondiscriminatory  society.   There 
does  not  appear  to  be  any  systematic  persecution  on  the  basis 
of  ethnicity  or  race.   There  are  no  ethnic  or  racially  based 
quotas  on  government  employment  or  benefits,  nor  is  the 
Government  controlled  by  any  one  of  Mozambique's  10  major 
ethnic  groups. 

Nonetheless,  the  FRELIMO  Government  tends  to  include  a 
disproportionate  number  of  southerners,  mostly  from  the 
Shangaan  ethnic  group,  at  all  levels.   Members  of  the  northern 
Makonde  tribe  are  well  represented.   White,  Asian,  and 
mixed-race  Mozambicans  are  also  heavily  represented  relative 
to  their  numbers  in  the  population,  causing  a  certain  degree 
of  resentment.   However,  whites,  Asians,  and  those  of  mixed 
race  are  not  allowed  in  the  military.   Most  observers,  both 
Mozambican  and  foreign,  believe  that  ethnic  imbalance  results 
from  the  greater  educational  opportunities  available  to 
southerners  and  nonblacks  under  the  former  colonial 
administration  and  not  from  deliberate  government  policies. 
In  1989  the  disproportionately  high  number  of  Shangaan 
speakers  in  higher  education  was  cited  by  university  and 
government  officials  as  an  injustice  requiring  priority 
action.   It  is  widely  believed  that  the  personnel  changes 
following  the  Fifth  Party  Congress  were  intended  to  promote 
greater  regional  balance.   The  Government  has  also  been 
undertaking  a  little  publicized  "Africanization"  program  of 
moving  black  Africans  into  positions  formerly  occupied  by 
whites . 

The  leadership  of  the  RENAMO  insurgents  is  predominantly  from 
the  Shona-speaking  ethnic  groups  who  live  near  the  Zimbabwean 
border . 

The  Constitution  forbids  discrimination  on  the  basis  of  sex 
and  mandates  equal  rights  and  responsibilities  for  women. 
Family  law  requires  that  women  have  equal  property  rights  and 
rights  over  the  children  in  any  marriage.   FRELIMO' s  mass 
organization  for  women,  the  Organization  of  Mozambican  Women 
(OMM) ,  has  made  a  long-term  project  of  studying  the 


244 


MOZAMBIQUE 

traditional  practices  of  the  various  ethnic  groups  and 
challenging,  through  grassroots  education  programs,  those 
practices  that  are  determined  to  be  detrimental  to  women. 

According  to  medical  and  other  sources,  violence  against 
women,  especially  wife  beating,  is  fairly  widespread  in 
Mozambique,  especially  in  the  rural  areas.   The  police  do  not 
normally  intervene  in  domestic  disputes,  and  cases  are  rarely 
brought  before  the  courts.   Official  government  policy  is 
against  such  violence,  but  it  has  not  addressed  the  issue 
specifically,  and  its  influence  is  weak,  especially  in  many 
rural  areas  affected  by  the  civil  war.   The  FRELIMO  women's 
organization  has  a  campaign  to  change  public  attitudes.   Other 
practices,  such  as  female  genital  mutilation  (circumcision) 
and  bride-price  payments,  also  continue  in  some  rural  areas. 
Female  circumcision  is  found  most  frequently  in  coastal  areas, 
particularly  among  Muslim  groups. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.  The  Right  of  Association 

All  workers  are  free  to  join  or  not  to  join  a  trade  union. 
However,  all  trade  unions  must  belong  to  a  central  labor  union 
association,  the  Organization  of  Mozambican  Workers  (OTM) , 
which  is  loosely  affiliated  with  FRELIMO.   Trade  unions 
independent  of  the  OTM  are  prohibited  by  law,  and  there  has 
been  no  known  effort  to  form  another  federation.   In  past 
years,  over  half  of  the  salaried  workers  in  Mozambique 
belonged  to  OTM-af filiated  unions.   However,  press  reports 
indicate  that  union  membership  in  Maputo  Province,  where  a 
disproportionate  number  of  Mozambique's  salaried  workers  are 
located,  actually  decreased  in  1989.   Many  factories  have  been 
destroyed  in  the  conflict  with  RENAMO,  forcing  OTM  members  who 
lost  their  salaried  jobs  to  turn  to  subsistence  agriculture. 
Other  workers  have  become  too  impoverished  to  pay  union  dues. 

Unions  do  not  have  the  right  to  strike  in  practice,  and  there 
was  no  known  strike  activity  in  1989.   High  unemployment  makes 
strike  action  ineffective.   In  mid-1988,  a  wildcat  strike  by 
dockworkers  ended  when  the  Government  fired  the  strikers  and 
replaced  them  with  newly  hired  workers. 

The  OTM  considers  its  relations  with  international  trade  union 
organizations  to  be  an  important  element  of  its  mission,  and 
it  frequently  serves  as  a  conduit  for  foreign  assistance  to 
Mozambican  trade  unions.   The  OTM  is  not  affiliated  with  any 
non-African  international  trade  union  organizations.   It  is  a 
member  of  the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity  and 
the  Southern  African  Trade  Union  Coordinating  Council.   The 
OTM  participates  in  exchange  and  training  programs  with  the 
American  Federation  of  Labor  and  Congress  of  Industrial 
Organizations  and  with  unions  from  several  Western  European 
nations.   The  OTM  also  has  extensive  ties  to  Soviet  and  East 
European  unions. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Workers  are  only  allowed  to  organize  and  negotiate  with 
employers  within  the  OTM  structure.   Union  membership  is 
voluntary,  but  the  Government  encourages  workers  to  join  and 
actively  participate  in  unions.   The  Government  sets  wage 
rates,  so  collective  bargaining,  as  such,  does  not  exist. 
However,  the  Government  consults  the  OTM  on  labor  and  economic 
policies  which  affect  unions,  and  the  OTM  monitors 


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MOZAMBIQUE 

occupational  safety  conditions. 

One  of  the  OTM's  primary  activities  is  to  represent  workers  at 
disciplinary  action  hearings  and  during  labor  disputes.   The 
OTM  sponsors  a  number  of  training  programs  for  workers  and 
operates  a  canteen  service  to  provide  low-cost  meals  at  work 
sites  and  factories. 

Some  professional  organizations,  such  as  the  Association  for 
Journalists,  Writers,  and  Musicians,  have  attained  quasi-union 
status  following  a  1988  agreement  that  allowed  them  to 
petition  the  National  People's  Assembly  for  improvements  in 
members'  working  conditions.   The  Association  of  Mozambican 
Journalists  received  a  significant  wage  increase  for  its 
members  as  a  result. 

There  are  no  export  processing  zones. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Forced  or  compulsory  labor  is  prohibited  by  law;  there  have 
been  no  reports  of  such  labor  practices  by  the  Government. 
RENAMO  reportedly  forces  kidnaped  civilians  to  perform  various 
support  functions,  including  portering  arms  and  supplies,  and 
growing  food  for  combatants. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

Child  labor  is  regulated,  and  in  the  wage  economy  the  minimum 
working  age  is  16.   Because  of  high  adult  unemployment,  there 
are  few  children  in  regular  wage  positions.   However,  minor 
children  commonly  work  on  family  farms  or  in  the  urban 
informal  sector,  where  they  perform  such  tasks  as  watching 
cars  or  collecting  scrap  metal. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

The  minimum  wage  is  set  at  about  $27.50  per  month  at  the 
current  official  exchange  rate,  although  it  is  less  than  half 
that  amount  in  dollar  terms  at  the  black  market  rate  of 
exchange.   This  salary  is  not  adequate  to  sustain  an  average 
worker's  family,  especially  under  the  ongoing  economic  reform 
plan  which  reduced  or  removed  government  subsidies  on  many 
basic  goods.   Given  the  40  percent  unemployment  rate  and  the 
occasional  lack  of  effective  government  enforcement,  many 
salaried  workers  are  probably  receiving  less  than  the  minimum, 
and  workers  must  turn  to  second  jobs,  if  available,  or  more 
likely  to  subsistence  agriculture  to  survive.   An  estimated  85 
percent  of  the  work  force  is  engaged  in  semisubsistence 
agriculture,  which  is  not  covered  by  minimum  wage  legislation. 

The  standard  legal  work  week  is  44  hours.   Women  workers  are 
guaranteed  2  months  paid  maternity  leave,  although  it  is 
difficult  to  ensure  compliance  with  these  regulations.   If 
firms  have  day-care  facilities,  women  reportedly  have  the 
right  to  two  breaks  of  30  minutes  duration  daily  for  a  year  to 
feed  their  children. 

Most  of  the  population  is  engaged  in  subsistence  agriculture 
and  is  not  affected  by  the  wage  economy  and  government 
regulations  regarding  working  conditions.   In  the  small, 
modern  sector,  the  Government  has  enacted  health  and 
environmental  laws  to  protect  workers.    On  occasion,  the 
Government  has  closed  firms  for  noncompliance  with  these  laws, 
but  enforcement  is  difficult  in  the  current  economic  situation. 


246 


NAMIBIA 

Formerly  German  South  West  Africa,  Namibia -since  1915  has  been 
ruled  by  the  Republic  of  South  Africa.   Under  the  terms  of  the 
Tripartite  Agreement  signed  in  New  York  on  December  22,  1988, 
by  the  People's  Republic  of  Angola,  the  Republic  of  Cuba  and 
the  Republic  of  South  Africa,  South  Africa  agreed  to  implement 
the  U.  N.  Plan  for  the  independence  of  Namibia  in  accordance 
with  United  Nations  Security  Council  Resolution  (UNSCR)  435. 
Implementation  of  the  UN  Plan  began  on  April  1,  1989,  and  will 
continue  until  Namibia  becomes  independent,  which  is  scheduled 
to  occur  by  April  1,  1990.   Until  independence  the  South 
African  Government  through  its  Administrator-General  (AG)  will 
continue  to  administer  the  territory  under  the  supervision  and 
control  of  the  Special  Representative  of  the  U.N. 
Secretary-General  (SRSG)  and  the  United  Nations  Transition 
Assistance  Group  (UNTAG) . 

The  South  West  Africa  People's  Organization  (SWAPO)  won 
Namibia's  first  free  election  in  November  for  a  Constituent 
Assembly  which  will  prepare  a  new  constitution,  but  it  failed 
to  gain  the  two-thirds  majority  needed  to  have  a  free  hand  in 
in  drafting  the  constitution.   SWAPO,  primarily  an  African 
nationalist  organization  with  previous  ties  to  Eastern  Europe, 
Angola  and  Cuba,  had  waged  a  23-year  bush  war  against  South 
Africa  for  Namibia's  independence.   Until  recently,  SWAPO 
advocated  a  Marxist-oriented  economic  and  political  system  in 
Namibia,  but  since  implementation  of  the  U.N.  Plan  it  has 
espoused  the  importance  of  a  free  market  economy  and 
democratic  principles.   At  SWAPO' s  suggestion,  the  Constituent 
Assembly  adopted  the  framework  for  the  Constitution  which  will 
embody  the  basic  principles  governing  the  organization  and 
powers  of  the  government,  the  holding  of  elections,  and 
protection  of  human  rights  agreed  to  in  July  1982  by  the 
parties  involved  in  the  U.N.  Resolution  435  negotiation 
process . 

The  Transitional  Government  of  National  Unity  installed  by 
South  Africa  in  1985  was  disbanded  in  March  1989  and  its 
functions  absorbed  by  the  Administrator-General.   A  general 
cease-fire  took  effect  in  the  guerrilla  war  in  the  north  in 
September  1988  and  held  until  April  1,  1989.   On  that  date, 
SWAPO  sent  hundreds  of  armed  members  of  its  military  wing,  the 
People's  Liberation  Army  of  Namibia  (PLAN),  across  Namibia's 
northern  border,  violating  the  cease-fire  and  its  obligations 
under  UNSCR  435.   Widespread  fighting  erupted  throughout 
northern  Namibia,  in  which  over  300  PLAN  fighters  and  about  30 
members  of  the  reactivated  special  counterinsurgency  unit 
known  as  "Koevoet"  (which  means  crowbar  in  Afrikaans)  and 
other  security  forces  were  killed.   Following  vigorous 
diplomatic  efforts  by  the  countries  concerned,  on  May  19, 
1989,  South  Africa,  Angola,  and  Cuba  agreed  that  the  situation 
was  under  sufficient  control  so  that  implementation  of  the 
U.N.  Plan  could  proceed. 

After  mid-May,  implementation  of  the  U.N.  Plan  radically 
changed  the  political  atmosphere.   The  South  African  Defense 
Force  (SADF)  withdrew  on  schedule,  and  a  residual  1,500  SADF 
men,  who  were  confined  to  base  under  UNTAG  monitoring, 
departed  shortly  after  the  elections  in  November.   The  South 
West  African  Territorial  Force  (SWATF)  was  disbanded,  and  its 
weapons  placed  under  UNTAG  control.   Over  40,000  exiled 
Namibians,  mostly  SWAPO  members,  were  repatriated.   Exiled 
SWAPO  leaders,  including  SWAPO  President  Nujoma,  returned  and 
openly  campaigned  in  the  elections.   Under  the  terms  of  the  UN 
Plan,  on  July  20  after  talks  with  the  SRSG,  the  AG  released  24 


247 


NAMIBIA 

political  prisoners.   SWAPO  had  called  for  the  release  of 
another  8  being  held  in  Windhoek  jail,  but  the  SRSG  was 
advised  by  an  independent  jurist  that  they  should  not  benefit 
from  the  political  prisoner  amnesty  program.   At  year's  end, 
three  were  still  being  held:   one  was  serving  a  20  year 
sentence  for  sabotage  and  murder  as  a  result  of  a  bomb  blast 
in  Oshakati  in  1987;  the  other  two  were  serving  lesser 
sentences  for  bombings  in  1987  and  1988.   In  addition,  amnesty 
was  granted  to  persons  born  in  Namibia  who  chose  to  return 
under  the  auspices  of  the  United  Nations  High  Commission  for 
Refugees  (UNHCR) . 

Many  of  the  detainees  held  by  SWAPO  in  prisons  in  Angola  were 
released,  although  256  remained  unaccounted  for,  and  115  were 
presumed  dead.   Many  were  allegedly  murdered  by  SWAPO  while 
being  held  in  SWAPO  prisons  in  Angola.   South  West  African 
laws  deemed  by  the  SRSG  to  be  prejudicial  to  holding  of  free 
and  fair  elections — including  many  security  laws  used  to 
suppress  political  activity — were  repealed.   The  AG  disbanded 
Koevoet  on  September  30.   The  AG  also  created  the  O'Linn 
Commission,  a  special  commission  under  a  respected  human 
rights  advocate  with  broad  powers  to  investigate  charges  of 
intimidation  and  election  malpractice.   This  commission  made 
two  judgments  against  instances  of  police  and  political  party 
misconduct.   It  found  alleged  former  members  of  Koevoet  guilty 
of  assaulting  SWAPO  supporters  on  their  way  to  a  police 
station  in  Ovamboland  to  obtain  permission  to  hold  a  political 
rally.   The  Commission  also  found  against  a  policeman  in 
Caprivi  who  attempted  to  cover  up  an  assault  on  a  SWAPO 
supporter. 

Certain  persistent  problems  plagued  the  implementation 
process.   Reports  of  misconduct  by  the  South  West  African 
Police  (SWAPOL),  such  as  intimidation  at  political  rallies  and 
harassment  of  pro-SWAPO  supporters,  continued  through 
September.   SWAPOL  was  also  accused  of  being  pro-Democratic 
Turnhalle  Alliance  (DTA) .   In  addition,  former  members  of  the 
SWATF  were  reportedly  responsible  for  many  incidents  of 
anti-SWAPO  harassment  and  intimidation.   Press  reports  issued 
during  the  election  period  from  UNTAG  and  the  AG's  office 
indicated  that  both  SWAPO  and  the  DTA  practiced  intimidation 
against  each  other  and  the  smaller  parties.   Responding  to  an 
increase  in  incidents  through  August,  the  SRSG  called  on  the 
leadership  of  the  political  parties  in  September  to  agree  on  a 
code  of  conduct  aimed  at  reducing  violence  and  ameliorating 
the  atmosphere  of  mutual  suspicion  and  tension. 

Unfortunately  a  terrorist  incident  marred  the  implementation 
process.   Extremist  whites  were  allegedly  responsible  for  a 
bombing  attack  in  August  on  an  UNTAG  office  in  Outjo  in  which 
a  Namibian  citizen  was  killed.   Three  suspects,  members  of  the 
"White  Wolves,"  a  self-proclaimed  white  supremacist 
organization,  were  arrested  and  arraigned  on  charges  of  arson 
and  murder  in  September.   Press  reports  citing  police 
investigations  alleged  that  the  White  Wolves  had  ties  to  other 
extremist  groups  in  South  Africa.   On  December  5,  the  suspects 
escaped  from  police  custody  and  were  still  at  large  at  year's 
end.   Also  in  September  a  prominent  white  official  of  SWAPO 
was  assassinated.   SWAPOL  arrested  a  suspect  2  days  later,  who 
remained  in  police  custody  in  Windhoek  prison  at  the  end  of 
1989  charged  with  murder.   Anonymous  callers  identifying 
themselves  as  White  Wolves  claimed  responsibility  for  the 
murder  and  threatened  other  white  activists  with  death. 
Except  for  the  April  1  incursion,  SWAPO  has  not  been  linked  to 
terrorist  incidents. 


24-900  O- 


248 


UhUlSlh 


RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 


Section  1  Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  were  several  charges  of  politically  motivated  killings 
during  1989.   In  Rundu  in  August,  two  policemen  shot  and 
killed  a  former  Koevoet  member  who  had  joined  SWAPO.   While 
the  policemen  claimed  they  fired  in  self-defense,  local  human 
rights  advocates  suspected  the  former  Koevoet  member  was 
murdered.   Also  in  August,  Petrus  Joseph  was  murdered, 
allegedly  because  he  had  complained  of  police  narassment  for 
some  time.   Petrus,  along  with  Paulus  David  and  four  other 
ex-Koevoet  members,  had  obtained  a  court  order  in  March  1989 
to  restrain  members  of  the  security  forces  from  intimidating 
and  harassing  them.   David  testified  in  court  cnat  senior 
officers  had  ordered  Koevoet  members  to  arrest  and  intimidate 
people  suspected  of  being  SWAPO  supporters.   Between  March  and 
August  1989,  Petrus  Joseph  continued  to  complain  of  police 
harassment,  and  in  early  August  he  was  shot  dead  in  his  home 
by  police.   Police  claimed  Petrus  had  threatened  them  with  a 
pistol,  forcing  them  to  shoot  in  self-defense.   The  police 
also  said  they  had  found  hand  grenades  in  Petrus'  home.   A 
formal  inquest  into  the  case  was  convened  in  Rundu  in 
September,  with  members  of  Namibia's  Legal  Assistance  Center 
acting  for  the  victim's  family.   The  results  of  the  inquest 
were  scheduled  to  be  heard  in  December,  but  the  accused 
policemen  did  not  appear  in  court.   The  inquest  hearing  was 
rescheduled  for  February  1990.   The  Legal  Assistance  Center 
said  the  policemen  had  not  been  properly  subpoenaed. 

In  mid-August  several  persons,  reportedly  white  extremists 
with  links  to  South  African  extremist  groups,  launched  an 
attack  with  guns  and  incendiary  grenades  against  UNTAG 
facilities  at  Outjo;  one  Namibian  security  guard  was  killed. 
Three  men  were  arrested  in  September  and  October  and  charged 
with  arson  and  murder  in  this  attack.   The  three  men  escaped 
from  police  custody  December  5  and  were  still  at  large  at 
year's  end.   A  policeman  shot  during  the  escape  died  on 
December  19.   In  late  September,  a  DTA  member  was  beaten  to 
death  by  a  group  of  SWAPO  supporters  in  Ovamboland;  the  DTA 
claimed  that  the  attack  was  motivated  solely  because  the 
person  was  a  member  of  the  DTA.   The  murder  sparked  interparty 
fighting  between  DTA  and  SWAPO  supporters,  leading  to  the 
deaths  of  several  SWAPO  members.   In  mid-September  a  policeman 
was  killed  while  in  hot  pursuit  of  a  criminal  who  sought 
refuge  in  the  town  of  Otjiwarongo  in  northern  Namibia.   A  mob, 
reportedly  of  SWAPO  supporters,  sought  to  protect  the 
fugitive.   The  policeman  wounded  two  attackers  from  the  mob 
before  he  was  overpowered  and  beaten  to  death.   Also  in 
September,  a  senior  white  official  of  SWAPO,  Anton  Lubowski, 
was  assassinated  in  front  of  his  home  by  unknown  gunmen; 
police  arrested  a  suspect  2  days  later,  who  at  year's  end  was 
in  detention  and  charged  with  murder.   In  each  instance  of 
killing  the  South  African  authorities  convened  an  inquest.   In 
most  of  these  cases,  various  perpetrators  have  been  arrested 
and  charged,  though  none  had  come  to  trial  by  the  end  of 
1989.   Local  human  rights  groups  expressed  dissatisfaction 
with  these  proceedings.   No  security  force  member  has  been 
prosecuted,  although  a  case  is  still  pending  for  security 
force  members  held  for  the  1986  murder  of  Immanuel  Shifidi  at 
a  political  rally.   Several  of  the  killings  did  not  appear  to 


249 


have  been  directly  motivated  by  politics,  but  because  of  the 
tense  atmosphere  preceding  the  elections,  every  confrontation 
between  the  local  population  and  the  police  took  on  political 
overtones . 

Former  detainees  of  SWAPO  forces  who  returned  to  Namibia  in 
July  alleged  that  many  detainees  had  been  executed  without 
trials  or  hearings  in  the  SWAPO  prisons  in  Angola.   The 
detainees  produced  a  list  of  74  persons  believed  to  have  been 
killed  by  SWAPO  security  personnel.   The  deaths  dated  from 
1976  to  1988;  none  was  alleged  to  have  occurred  in  1989. 
SWAPO  spokesmen  said  the  movement  did  detain  persons  whom  it 
identified  as  spies  for  South  Africa  but  had  released  all  of 
them. 

b.  Disappearance 

The  former  SWAPO  detainees  released  a  list  of  449  names  of 
persons  believed  to  be  still  held  by  SWAPO  in  prisons  in 
Angola.   The  former  detainees  claimed  that  several  hundred 
others,  whose  names  they  did  not  know,  were  also  being  held. 
SWAPO  leaders  said  they  had  released  all  of  their  detainees. 
The  U.N.  Special  Representative,  who  has  a  mandate  under  the 
U.N.  Plan  to  ensure  the  release  of  all  political  prisoners 
held  by  both  sides,  sent  a  team  to  Angola  and  Zambia  in 
September  to  investigate  the  fate  of  those  reported  to  be 
missing.   Subsequently,  from  a  list  of  1,100  names,  the  team 
accounted  for  over  half  of  the  reported  missing  and  detained. 
By  mid-December  the  number  unaccounted  for  stood  at  256.   At 
that  time  Namibians  were  still  coming  forward  to  identify 
themselves  as  persons  on  the  "missing"  list.   The  UNTAG 
mission  continued  to  meet  regularly  in  Windhoek  (capital  of 
Namibia)  to  resolve  the  remaining  cases. 

Prisoners  released  by  the  South  Africans  in  June  and  July 
alleged  that  a  number  of  prisoners  had  died  while  in  custody 
or  been  taken  into  the  bush  and  killed.   Under  previous 
security  laws  police  were  not  required  to  notify  their 
superiors  or  relatives  of  the  detainees  of  detentions,  and 
detainees  could  be  held  in  any  location  desired  by  the 
detaining  officers.   Amnesty  International  (AI),  in  its  August 
1989  report  on  Namibia,  noted  that  it  remains  impossible  to 
say  exactly  how  many  people  disappeared  while  in  South  African 
custody. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment. 

Allegations  of  security  force  abuses  declined  in  1989,  but  the 
events  of  April  1  led  to  a  sudden  resurgence  of  charges  of 
brutality  by  the  police  and  members  of  the  SWATF  101 
battalion.   Allegations  against  Koevoet  and  SWATF  surged 
dramatically  following  the  April  1  SWAPO  incursion.   There 
were  400  complaints  against  SWAPOL  elements  from  April  1  to 
August  1.   Many  of  these  incidents  stopped  short  of  armed 
violence.   There  were  also  a  number  of  reports  of  civilians 
beaten  by  members  of  the  security  forces,  particularly  by 
members  of  Koevoet,  although  many  acts  of  violence  attributed 
to  Koevoet  were  committed  by  active  or  demobilized  members  of 
SWATF.   By  August  1989  continuing  reports  of  misconduct  and 
harassment,  including  beatings,  of  civilians  by  former  Koevoet 
members  reached  such  a  point  that  the  Special  Representative, 
supported  by  the  Security  Council,  demanded  that  they  be 
withdrawn  from  the  police  force.   This  was  accomplished  in 
October. 


250 


Former  SWAPO  detainees,  on  their  return  to  Namibia,  stated 
they  had  been  beaten  and  tortured  by  their  SWAPO  guards  while 
imprisoned.   Some  claimed  they  had  been  tortured  because  they 
were  intellectuals  or  better  educated  than  the  SWAPO  inner 
circle.   Many,  including  women,  displayed  extensive  scars. 
Men  were  commonly  beaten  on  the  back,  buttocks,  and  legs;  a 
number  said  they  were  hung  upside  down  from  trees  or  roof 
beams  and  beaten.   Women  were  burned  on  their  breasts  with 
lighted  cigarettes.   Several  detainees  said  they  knew 
personally  of  victims  who  were  beaten  or  tortured  to  death. 
AI  also  cited,  in  its  report  on  Namibia,  allegations  by 
detainees  of  torture  and  deplorable  conditions  of  imprisonment 
in  SWAPO-cont rolled  camps  in  Angola. 

d.   Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Although  security  legislation  which  permitted  detention 
without  trial  has  been  repealed  in  accordance  with  the  U.N. 
Plan,  and  while  security  forces  are  now  obliged  to  notify  the 
UNTAG  police  monitors  when  they  make  an  arrest,  reports  and 
allegations  of  SWAPOL  misconduct  continued  to  be  a  serious 
problem  into  September.   SWAPOL  was  accused  of  making  arrests 
without  warrants,  and  there  were  a  few  cases  of  incommunicado 
detention.   As  the  election  drew  near,  political  tension 
between  DTA  and  SWAPO  supporters  increased  which  resulted  in 
more  reports  of  SWAPOL  misconduct.   With  DTA  and  SWAPO 
confrontations  on  the  rise,  SWAPOL' s  role  in  handling  the 
confrontations  increased  and  so  did  reports  and  allegations  of 
misconduct.   SWAPOL  also  conducted  the  investigation  of 
allegations  against  itself,  since  UNTAG  served  in  a  monitoring 
and  not  investigatory  capacity.   While  UNTAG  police  monitors 
have  been  unable  to  prevent  all  abuses,  few  of  SWAPOL 's 
arrests  resulted  in  formal  charges,  and  most  of  those  arrested 
were  released  within  a  few  hours.   Relatives  of  people  who  are 
arrested  often  appeal  directly  to  UNTAG  police  monitors  for 
assistance.   UNTAG  monitors  cannot  overturn  arrests,  but  they 
can  confirm  the  identities  of  those  arrested,  monitor 
investigations  of  police  behavior,  and  report  abusive  behavior 
or  police  misconduct. 

There  were  no  reports  of, new  detentions  by  the  security  forces 
in  1989.   Police  must  now  present  the  accused  before  a 
magistrate  within  24  hours  and  lay  a  formal  charge.   The 
accused  has  the  right  to  be  represented  by  an  attorney, 
although  the  police  do  not  always  facilitate  access.   The 
Government  stopped  funding  in  1989  a  legal  aid  program.   On 
capital  offense  charges,  however,  the  State  still  is  required 
to  provide  and  pay  for  an  advocate. 

Former  detainees  of  SWAPO  claimed  that  no  judicial  procedures 
were  observed  in  connection  with  their  detention.   They 
publicly  stated  to  the  press  and  international  organizations 
that  they  were  often  not  even  informed  that  they  had  been 
arrested.   Many  claimed  they  were  simply  thrown  into  dungeons; 
they  were  not  advised  of  any  rights  or  of  the  charges  against 
them.   None  was  tried  or  brought  before  any  hearing;  the 
purpose  of  the  torture  cited  above,  according  to  some 
detainees,  was  to  extract  confessions  and  to  force  the  victims 
to  implicate  others,  who  would  be  arrested  and  tortured  as 
well.   Some  of  these  confessions  were  allegedly  videotaped  and 
shown  to  senior  SWAPO  leaders  as  "evidence"  of  the  detainee's 
guilt;  most  were  accused  of  spying  for  South  Africa.   Many  of 
the  detainees  believe  that  they  were  the  victims  of  a  party 
purge,  singled  out  because  of  political  differences,  tribal 
affiliation,  or  because  they  were  "intellectuals." 


251 


with  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  judiciary  is  independent  of  the  executive  branch  (now  the 
AG) ,  and  the  Supreme  Court  in  Windhoek  is  widely  respected  for 
its  integrity.   There  are  only  two  court  levels  in  Namibia, 
magistrate  and  supreme.   The  Supreme  Court  is  the  high  court. 
For  appeals,  cases  are  subject  to  appellate  review  by  the 
South  African  Court  of  Appeals  in  Bloemfontein.   Although 
Namibia  was  in  transitional  status,  the  State's  Attorney  could 
still  appeal  politically  sensitive  cases  to  Bloemfontein, 
because  the  SRSG  had  neither  jurisdiction  over  the  legal 
system  nor  any  relationship  with  the  Namibian  courts.   Trials 
are  public,  and  defendants  have  a  right  to  counsel.   There  is 
little  criticism  of  the  courts  themselves,  which  administer  a 
Roman-Dutch  legal  system,  whereby  cases  are  heard  by  a 
magistrate  or  a  panel  of  judges.   Former  criticism  of  the 
legal  system  concerned  the  widespread  use  of  detention  without 
trial,  notably  under  AG  9  of  1977  or  Section  6  of  South 
Africa's  Terrorism  Act  of  1967.   Those  brought  to  trial  now 
can  expect  a  fair  hearing  based  on  the  legal  merits  of  their 
case,  and  there  is  a  right  of  appeal.   Defendants  are 
considered  innocent  until  proven  guilty. 

In  March  1989,  a  full  bench  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  Namibia 
invalidated  South  African  President  P.W.  Botha's  decision  in 
March  1988  to  halt  the  trial  of  six  security  force  members 
charged  with  the  murder  of  Immanuel  Shifidi  at  a  political 
rally  in  1986.   An  appeal  to  the  South  African  court  in 
Bloemfontein  is  still  pending.   Since  implementation  of  the  UN 
Plan,  legal  rights  groups  have  noted  the  light  sentences  that 
the  Supreme  Court  has  given  for  crimes  caused  by  or  related  to 
political  motives  of  political  party  supporters  or  members  of 
the  police. 

The  Namibian  courts,  supreme  and  magistrate,  also  have  been 
careful  not  to  involve  themselves  in  cases  which  might 
threaten  the  implementation  of  the  UN  Plan.   In  May,  11 
so-called  "headmen"  (9  from  Ovamboland,  1  from  Caprivi  and  1 
from  Kaokoland)  brought  a  case  against  the  Special 
Representative,  UNHCR,  SWAPO,  the  Council  of  Churches,  the  AG, 
and  the  South  African  Defense  Minister.   The  headmen  were 
trying  to  stop  the  refugee  repatriation  process  from  Angola 
until  adequate  protection  could  be  provided  to  them  and  their 
communities.   They  argued  that  the  refugees — who  the  headmen 
claimed  were  really  ex-PLAN  fighters — represented  a  threat  to 
their  safety.   The  Supreme  Court  issued  an  interim  order  that 
the  AG  provide  protection  for  the  headmen  but  later  reversed 
its  decision. 

Traditional  tribal  courts  continued  to  operate  in  the  tribal 
areas.   These  courts  deal  mostly  with  minor  criminal  offenses, 
such  as  petty  theft  and  infractions  of  traditional  customs. 
Cases  are  heard  by  a  village  or  tribal  headman  or  chief,  who 
may  receive  advice  from  a  traditional  council  or  civil 
servant.   Procedures  are  informal  and  vary  from  tribe  to 
tribe;  observers  report  that  the  system  can  work  well  to 
resolve  minor  problems  by  communal  consensus  but,  because  of 
the  lack  of  review  and  the  strength  of  traditional  authorities 
in  the  rural  areas,  is  also  subject  to  abuse. 


252 


f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Security  legislation  before  implementation  of  the  U.N.  Plan 
allowed  almost  unlimited  powers  of  search  and  seizure. 
Invasion  of  the  home  was  commonplace  in  the  northern  areas. 
Press  reports  during  the  April  fighting  indicated  that 
security  forces  drove  their  heavily  armored  vehicles  through 
the  homes  of  persons  suspected  of  supporting  the  guerrillas. 
Allegations  of  warrantless  searches,  threats  against 
civilians,  and  intrusive  interrogation  to  establish  the 
whereabouts  and  identities  of  returnees  (including  PLAN 
fighters  repatriated  as  refugees)  continued  to  concern  UNTAG 
and  other  observers  until  late  in  the  year. 

Outside  the  north,  surveillance  and  monitoring  of  mail  and 
telephones  of  political  activists  appeared  to  decline. 
However,  legislation  pertaining  to  the  gathering  of  security 
information.  Post  Office  Act  No.  44  and  National  Security  Act 
No.  19,  remained  in  force  throughout  1989  and  gave  the  AG  the 
right  to  intercept  telephone  calls  and  mail  without  a 
warrant.   There  is  no  evidence  that  the  AG  invoked  these 
powers  after  April  1. 

g.  Use  of  Excessive  Force  and  Violations  of  Humanitarian 
Law  in  Internal  Conflicts 

There  were  many  instances  of  the  use  of  excessive  force  and 
violations  of  humanitarian  law  by  both  South  African  security 
forces  and  SWAPO  military  units  in  the  course  of  the  23-year 
bush  war.   Over  the  years,  many  innocent  civilians  were  killed 
in  the  conflict.   However,  the  de  facto  cease-fire  which  came 
into  effect  in  August  1988  led  to  a  lessening  of  tensions 
along  the  border  and  the  reports  of  violations  declined 
through  the  rest  of  1988  and  into  1989. 

The  events  of  April  1  led  to  a  resurgence  in  accusations  of 
serious  violations.   During  the  fighting  and  for  many  weeks 
afterward,  many  reports  and  allegations  surfaced  of  security 
forces  beating  civilians  during  interrogation  in  their  efforts 
to  locate  SWAPO  infiltrators. 

The  fighting  itself  in  April  produced  lopsided  casualty  ratios 
of  10  to  12  SWAPO  infiltrators  killed  for  every  1  taken 
prisoner.   Sources  who  claimed  to  have  examined  some  of  the 
bodies  state  that  many  of  the  dead  appeared  to  have  been  shot 
through  the  head  at  close  range.   Photos  of  roughly  18  PLAN 
members  taken  by  a  photojournalist  from  the  London-based 
Sunday  Telegraph  and  shown  on  the  U.S.  program  "South  Africa 
Now"  were  examined  by  a  forensic  expert  from  Guys  Hospital  in 
London  and  and  a  U.S.  forensic  expert.   The  two  claimed  that 
the  bodies  appeared  to  have  been  shot  at  close  range.   Local 
police  claimed  that  their  investigations  failed  to  confirm 
these  allegations.   The  buried  bodies  were  exhumed  in  July  and 
autopsies  performed  on  each.   Most  of  the  forensic  facilities 
and  experts  were  South  African.   Several  inquest  hearings  were 
scheduled  then  postponed.   Since  the  elections  no  apparent 
follow-up  of  the  status  of  the  investigation  or  rescheduling 
of  the  inquest  have  been  made. 

SWAPO  as  a  guerrilla  movement  was  accused  of  serious 
mistreatment  of  its  detainees  (See  Sections  I.e.  and  l.d.). 
As  a  political  party  it,  along  with  the  DTA,  was  responsible 
for  acts  of  intimidation  and  violence  against  voters  during 
the  election  campaign. 


253 


NAMIBIA 
Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Many  laws  circumscribing  freedom  of  speech  were  repealed  in 
1989  as  part  of  the  U.N.  Plan.   The  SRSG  ensured  that  all  laws 
which  would  prevent  free  and  fair  elections  were  repealed,  in 
particular  those  relating  to  political  expression. 
Restrictions  on  obscenity  remained  in  effect,  but  the  press 
reported  freely  on  political,  security,  and  economic  matters. 
The  daily  newspapers,  which  are  generally  party  organs,  were 
guite  vigorous  in  their  criticism  of  the  AG,  UNTAG,  the  U.N. 
Plan,  and  each  other. 

In  late  September,  a  Namibian  publisher,  two  newspaper  editors 
and  an  American  journalist,  Scott  Stanley,  were  arrested  on 
the  "criminal"  charge  of  defaming  the  O'Linn  Commission,  a 
Namibian  government  commission  charged  with  investigating 
allegations  of  election  fraud  and  malpractice.   Stanley  had 
interviewed  its  chairman,  Bryan  O'Linn,  in  July  and  wrote  a 
commentary  for  his  news  organization  critical  of  O'Linn.   The 
piece  charged  that  O'Linn  was  pro-SWAPO  and  not  fit  to  head 
the  Commission.   O'Linn  called  the  allegation  contemptuous, 
and  the  State  brought  charges  against  Stanley  and  two  Namibian 
newspapers  that  published  the  commentary.   The  trial  judge 
found  that  Stanley  had  misquoted  and  otherwise  denigrated 
O'Linn.   On  November  21,  all  defendants  were  found  guilty  on 
some  of  the  counts  against  them  and  received  fines.   Stanley 
was  found  guilty  on  one  of  two  counts  and  fined  the  equivalent 
of  $96. 

The  South  West  African  Broadcasting  Corporation  (SWABC) 
operates  under  a  board  appointed  by  the  Administrator-General. 
SWABC  newscasts  on  radio  and  television  have  traditionally 
been  biased  in  favor  of  the  status  quo  and  against  SWAPO, 
referring  to  it  prior  to  April  1  as  a  terrorist  organization. 
Following  April  1,  1989,  SWABC  modified  its  news  policy  to 
permit  mention  of  SWAPO  as  a  political  party  like  the  others 
but  continued  to  be  highly  biased  against  SWAPO.   Three 
reports  issued  at  intervals  in  1989  by  an  independent 
monitoring  group,  NPP-435,  documented  instances  of  SWABC 
bias.   The  SRSG  insisted  that  improvement  in  the  broadcast 
media's  performance  was  essential  to  creating  the  conditions 
for  free  and  fair  elections.   SWABC's  bias  did  diminish 
somewhat  during  the  year,  but  the  network's  newscasts  still 
had  relatively  low  credibility  among  many  listeners  and 
viewers . 

With  the  repeal  of  most  security  legislation  related  to 
political  offenses,  academic  freedom  is  now  respected  in 
Namibia.   Local  scholars  are  free  to  publish,  travel,  speak, 
and  participate  in  local  politics  for  the  first  time  in  many 
years  without  fearing  loss  of  employment  or  prosecution. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Namibians  generally  enjoy  the  freedoms  of  peaceful  assembly 
and  association.   The  repeal  of  pertinent  security  legislation 
has  resulted  in  greater  freedom  of  assembly  and  unprecedented 
political  rallies  were  held  throughout  the  country. 

Political  rallies  do  not  require  approval,  but  parties  must 
provide  prior  notice  of  meetings  under  proclamation  AG  23  of 
1989,  and  must  conform  to  certain  guidelines  relating  to 
safety  and  traffic.   In  August  a  SWAPO  rally  was  peacefully 


254 


dispersed  for  failing  to  conform  with  the  requirement  that  the 
police  be  notified  3  days  in  advance;  party  organizers  had  in 
fact  notified  the  local  magistrate,  as  was  required  under  old 
legislation.   In  late  September,  the  DTA  held  a  march  through 
Windhoek's  black  township  of  Katutura.   Although  the  party  had 
received  permission  from  the  AG's  office  in  August  to  use  a 
loudspeaker  truck  to  do  political  campaigning,  it  did  not  have 
prior  permission  to  hold  a  march.   The  AG's  office  ruled  that 
the  march  was  illegal  under  the  terms  of  AG  23. 

A  SWAPOL  commander  in  the  north  was  accused  before  the  AG's 
Commission  on  Intimidation  (the  O'Linn  Commission)  of  having 
deliberately  staged  a  police  attack  on  a  peaceful  assembly  of 
SWAPO  supporters  in  Ovamboland  in  June.   In  September  police 
in  Windhoek  used  plastic  bullets  to  disperse  a  group  of 
striking  workers  (see  Section  6. a.).   Students  and  government 
workers  in  northern  Namibia  staged  a  walkout  in  July  to 
protest  continued  police  abuses.   The  aim  of  the  1-month  long 
school  boycott,  involving  160,000  students  in  518  schools,  was 
to  urge  the  Government  to  remove  ex-Koevoet  members  from  the 
police  force.   A  number  of  spontaneous  demonstrations 
occurred,  which  led  to  some  minor  clashes. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Namibians  enjoy  the  free  practice  of  religion.   Almost  all 
Namibians  are  Christian,  with  the  Evangelical  Lutheran  Church 
in  Namibia  (ELGIN)  being  the  single  largest  denomination. 
Roman  Catholic,  Anglican,  Methodist,  Dutch  Reformed,  and  the 
African  Methodist  Episcopal  Churches  are  also  active.   There 
is  one  Jewish  synagogue  in  Windhoek,  and  a  small  community  of 
Muslims . 

Church  leaders,  who  consistently  condemned  the  use  of  violence 
in  the  past,  also  spoke  out  against  the  use  of  violence  and 
intimidation  by  the  political  parties  and  urged  reconciliation. 

Past  travel  restrictions  against  church  leaders  have  been 
lifted.   Foreign  church  visitors  have  without  exception  been 
granted  visas,  although  some  after  delay  or  protest,  to  travel 
to  Namibia. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Under  the  terms  of  the  U.N,  Plan,  all  Namibian  refugees  who 
fled  the  country  during  the  conflict  were  entitled  to  register 
with  UNHCR  for  repatriation.   More  than  42,000  Namibians  who 
wished  to  return  registered,  and  42,736  had  returned  to 
Namibia  by  the  end  of  1989.   This  included  the  senior 
leadership  of  SWAPO,  other  exiled  politicians,  and  several 
thousand  PLAN  fighters  who  repatriated  as  civilian  refugees 
after  their  units  in  Angola  were  disarmed  and  disbanded.   The 
former  SWAPO  detainees  who  returned  were  also  repatriated 
under  UNHCR  auspices.   Many  of  the  non-SWAPO  returnees  accused 
UNHCR  and  its  implementing  agency  in  Namibia,  the  Council  of 
Churches  in  Namibia  (CCN) ,  of  partiality  towards  SWAPO,  of 
attempting  to  cover  up  or  ignore  SWAPO  human  rights  abuses, 
and  of  disregarding  the  legitimate  needs  of  non-SWAPO 
returnees.   The  non-SWAPO  political  parties  also  accused  UNTAG 
of  failing  to  seek  out  vigorously  persons  detained  by  SWAPO 
whose  repatriation  SWAPO  wished  to  prevent. 


255 


NAMIBIA 

UNHCR's  and  UNTAG ' s  inability  to  locate  these  SWAPO  detainees 
in  SWAPO  or  Angolan  custody  came  under  particular  criticism. 
SWAPO  and  the  Angolan  authorities  either  could  or  would  not 
account  fully  for  those  believed  to  be  missing. 

The  dusk-to-dawn  curfew  in  the  northern  operational  area  was 
lifted  in  early  1989,  then  reimposed  during  the  April 
fighting.   It  was  lifted  again  in  May.   During  the  voter 
registration  process  several  observers  claimed  that  Namibians 
living  in  Walvis  Bay  and  traveling  to  Swakopmund  were  subject 
to  delays  and  harassment  at  the  border.   UNTAG  intervention 
with  the  authorities  alleviated  the  problem. 

South  Africa,  through  the  Administrator-General,  still 
provided  travel  documents  to  Namibians.   These,  however,  were 
provided  routinely  to  all  Namibians  not  charged  with  or  wanted 
for  a  criminal  offense.   Several  senior  SWAPO  leaders  have 
traveled  to  and  from  Namibia  on  South  African  passports.   If 
denied  a  passport,  a  Namibian  could  apply  to  the  Minister  of 
Home  Affairs  in  South  Africa.   However,  the  Minister  did  not 
have  to  provide  a  reason  for  denial,  and  there  was  no  right  of 
appeal  through  the  courts. 

There  were  no  known  deportations  in  1989.   The  portions  of  the 
South  West  Africa  Regulations  Act  which  permitted  deportation 
of  aliens  who  threatened  public  order  were  repealed  in  June. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  their  Government 

In  1989,  for  the  first  time  in  their  history,  Namibians  of  all 
ethnic  groups  exercised  this  right  over  5  days,  November  7  to 
11,  electing  a  Constituent  Assembly  to  draft  a  constitution 
for  an  independent  Namibia.   Ten  registered  political  parties 
contested  the  U.N. -supervised  elections.   SWAPO  won  the 
election,  receiving  57  percent  of  the  670,830  votes  cast — a 
turnout  of  more  than  97  percent  of  the  eligible  voters.   SWAPO 
gained  41  seats  in  the  72-seat  Constituent  Assembly,  a 
majority,  but  not  the  two-thirds  majority  needed  to  adopt  a 
constitution  within  the  1982  guidelines.   The  DTA,  which 
dominated  the  Transitional  Government  since  1985,  won  28 
percent  of  the  vote  and  21  seats  in  the  Assembly.   The 
remaining  parties  were:   United  Democratic  Front,  4  seats; 
Action  Christian  National  Party,  3  seats;  Namibia  National 
Front,  1  seat;  National  Patriotic  Front,  1  seat;  and  Federal 
Convention  of  Namibia,  1  seat.   The  SRSG  certified  the 
elections  as  "free  and  fair,"  and  the  competing  parties 
agreed. 

All  parties  cooperated  in  the  initial  work  of  the  Constituent 
Assembly,  which,  in  late  December,  adopted  the  Standing 
Committee's  report  on  the  outlines  of  a  Namibian 
constitution.   The  report  reflected  the  ideas  on  which  all 
parties  have  agreed  in  principle:   a  5-year  term  executive 
presidency;  a  bicameral  legislature;  protection  of  fundamental 
human  rights;  and  national  elections  based  on  proportional 
representation.   The  Standing  Committee  was  preparing  a  draft, 
in  consultation  with  legal  experts,  which  would  be  presented 
to  the  full  Assembly  in  early  1990.   The  majority  party  along 
with  others  in  the  Assembly  will  determine  how  the  government 
will  be  formed.   The  Constituent  Assembly  will  likely 
transform  itself  into  a  national  assembly,  and  no  other 
nationwide  elections  are  scheduled  for  the  near  future. 


256 


Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 
Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  attitude  of  the  South  African  Government  and  the  AG  has 
undergone  a  dramatic  change  with  the  implementation  of  the  UN 
Plan.   Many  observers  from  international  human  rights  and 
humanitarian  and  religious  organizations  visited  Namibia  in 
1989  and  traveled  extensively  throughout  the  country, 
conducting  their  own  investigations  of  the  independence 
process,  police  abuses,  and  the  stories  of  the  SWAPO 
detainees.   Several  human  rights  and  information  services 
established  full-time  offices  in  Namibia  to  monitor 
implementation. 

The  Namibian  Legal  Assistance  Center  (LAC),  which  operates 
five  offices  in  Namibia,  assisted  indigent  defendants  and  has 
played  an  important  role  in  political  and  security  cases  since 
its  founding  in  1988.   The  Center  faced  a  court  challenge  from 
the  AG's  legal  staff  in  mid-1989,  but  the  Windhoek  Supreme 
Court  dismissed  the  AG's  case  in  August,  forcing  an 
out-of-court  settlement  which  fully  recognized  the  right  of 
the  LAC  to  continue  its  work. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Much  of  the  discrimination  based  on  race  built  into  the 
structure  of  the  Namibian  Government  created  by  South  Africa 
remained  in  place  in  1989.   Although  the  ethnically  based 
second-tier  executive  and  legislative  authorities  were 
abolished  and  their  functions  transferred  to  the  AG,  the 
separate  second-tier  civil  services  and  schools  were 
retained.   As  required  by  the  U.N.  Plan,  only  those  laws 
prejudicial  to  the  holding  of  free  and  fair  elections  were 
repealed,  though  many  parties  and  observers  demanded  the 
complete  abolition  of  all  ethnic  classifications, 
institutions,  and  authorities.   The  AG  resisted  this  on  the 
grounds  that  administrative  chaos  would  ensue  and  that  the 
complete  restructuring  of  the  Government  should  be  left  to  the 
country's  first  independent  government. 

Pending  restructuring,  the  system  of  racial  classification 
remained  essentially  the  same  as  in  1988.   Most  Namibians 
carried  an  identity  document  under  the  Identification  of 
Persons  Act  of  1979.   This  document  identified  them  as  members 
of  one  of  the  following  ethnic  groups:   Ovambo,  Whites, 
Damara,  Herero,  Kavango,  Kama,  Colored  (mixed  race), 
Kaokovelder,  Bushmen,  Rehoboth  Baster,  Caprivian,  and  Tswana. 
A  large  proportion  of  the  taxes  collected  from  a  particular 
ethnic  group  stayed  with  that  group,  resulting  in  a  gross 
disparity  in  the  distribution  of  government  revenues.   The 
second-tier  administration  for  the  country's  80,000  whites  had 
a  budget  of  $23  million  while  the  authority  for  the  650,000 
Ovambos  (from  which  SWAPO  derives  its  political  base)  had  a 
budget  of  $350,000. 

Social  facilities  were  generally  open  to  all  races,  although 
private  businesses  could — and  on  occasion  did — restrict 
clientele  based  on  race,  and  a  few  refused  to  admit  members  of 
UNTAG.   The  law  did  not  require  segregation  in  housing,  but 
economic  factors  produced  essentially  the  same  effect,  with 
separate  townships  for  blacks  and  coloreds  remaining  part  of 
the  structure  of  local  municipalities.   Some  hospitals,  such 
as  the  state  hospital  in  Windhoek,  admitted  all  patients  but 


257 

had  separate  wings  for  different  races. 

Nonracial  private  schools  have  operated  in  the  territory  for 
several  years;  most  are  affiliated  with  the  churches.   The 
public  schools  were  under  the  ethnic  second-tier  structure  and 
were  segregated.   All  of  the  political  parties  declared  that 
upon  independence  public  education  would  be  integrated  but 
some,  such  as  the  National  Party,  insisted  that  different 
ethnic  groups  should  be  allowed  to  maintain  segregated  private 
schools . 

Women  continue  to  face  discrimination  in  both  the  traditional 
and  modern  sectors,  particularly  in  regard  to  financial  and 
legal  matters.   The  coming  of  independence  is  not  likely  to 
change  this  situation  soon;  discrimination  is  almost  as  deeply 
entrenched  in  the  "liberation  movement"  as  it  is  in  the 
current  Government.   Under  traditional  practice,  which  was 
still  in  effect  for  a  majority  of  the  population,  a  woman  is 
not  independent.   She  is  usually  a  ward  of  her  father  until 
she  marries;  then  she  is  a  ward  of  her  husband.   There  is 
still  de  facto  discrimination  against  women  in  employment  in 
the  modern  sector. 

Family  violence  appears  to  be  a  deep-rooted  and  common 
problem.   The  courts  treated  cases  of  wife  beating  as 
assaults,  but  because  of  traditional  attitudes  regarding  the 
subordination  of  women,  most  such  cases  did  not  get  to  court. 
The  police  do  not  normally  interfere  in  domestic  disputes. 
Some  community  groups  and  government  bodies  were  targeting 
women  in  their  development  programs.   Among  these  were  the 
Council  of  Churches'  Namibian  Women's  Voice,  the  Women  of 
Namibia,  and  the  Namibian  Women's  Organization  in  Ovamboland. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.   The  Right  of  Association 

The  legal  right  to  associate  in  labor  unions,  long  enjoyed  by 
white  and  colored  workers,  was  extended  to  blacks  only  in  July 
1978.   Black  union  membership  has  grown  markedly  over  the  last 
3  years.   About  70  percent  of  all  workers  in  the  largest 
private  sector  of  the  economy,  mining,  are  unionized.   Union 
officials  in  1989  claimed  a  membership  of  50,000  out  of  a 
private  sector  work  force  of  at  least  230,000.   The  total  work 
force  is  estimated  at  400,000.   The  country's  20,000  to  30,000 
farm  workers  employed  on  white-owned  farms  remain  unorganized, 
and  many  are  subject  to  a  regime  of  paternalistic 
authoritarianism  that  gives  them  little  say  regarding  their 
conditions  of  employment  and  little  access  to  outside 
assistance. 

Labor  issues  and  politics  are  closely  related;  most  of  the 
unions  with  a  majority  of  black  workers  are  sympathetic 
towards  SWAPO,  and  many  union  leaders  are  also  SWAPO 
officials.   For  example,  until  his  murder  Anton  Lubowski, 
SWAPO' s  sole  white  senior  official,  was  Secretary  of  Finance 
and  Administration  of  the  National  Union  of  Namibian  Workers 
(NUNW) .   Unions  are  allowed  to  publicize  their  views  and  did 
so  in  the  November  elections. 

Namibian  workers  have  and  exercise  the  right  to  strike.   With 
the  approach  of  independence,  politically  motivated  industrial 
action  abated  somewhat,  but  labor-management  relations  remain 
turbulent.   Workers  often  stop  work  before  observing  all  the 
required  steps  for  the  settlement  of  disputes  which  are 


258 


mandated  by  local  labor  codes.   Employers,  in  turn,  have  the 
right  to  dismiss  legally  or  illegally  striking  employees,  and 
in  the  past  have  done  so  with  relative  impunity.   No  sanctions 
are  applied  against  the  employer.   During  a  legal  strike  an 
employer  can  try  to  reach  an  agreement  with  workers  by  means 
of  a  conciliatory  board  composed  of  management  and  union 
members.   However,  the  employer  is  not  compelled  to  reach  a 
resolution,  and  in  the  case  of  an  illegal  strike,  the  employer 
has  the  right  of  lockout.   Proclamation  R.  101  of  1985,  which 
contained  a  "bill  of  fundamental  rights"  that  sought  to 
restrict  the  advocacy  and  organization  of  work  stayaways  and 
boycotts,  was  repealed  as  part  of  the  settlement  process  in 
July. 

In  1989  workers  continued  to  strike  individual  firms  over  pay 
and  other  issues.   The  firing  of  a  labor  organizer  from  a 
local  brewery  resulted  in  a  walkout  of  sympathetic  workers  in 
September.   The  brewery  then  dismissed  the  strikers.   When  the 
strikers  gathered  peacefully  outside  the  brewery,  reportedly 
to  get  their  final  paychecks,  the  police  ordered  them  to 
disperse  and  then  opened  fire  with  plastic  bullets,  injuring  a 
number  of  workers.   This  excessive  use  of  force  led  to 
sympathy  strikes  against  other  firms  owned  by  the  holding 
company  which  owned  the  brewery;  it  also  produced  a  boycott 
against  the  brewery  by  local  black  businessmen. 

Namibia  has  been  a  member  of  the  International  Labor 
Organization  (ILO)  since  1978.   Trade  unions  are  free  to 
affiliate  with  international  trade  union  organizations.   The 
ban  on  the  NUNW,  a  SWAPO-af filiated  body  which  operated  from 
exile  in  Angola,  has  been  lifted,  and  it  is  now  operating 
publicly  in  Namibia.   The  NUNW  is  affiliated  with  the 
Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity  and  with  the 
Communist-controlled  World  Federation  of  Trade  Unions. 

b.   The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

The  Namibian  Supreme  Court  recognized  the  right  of  collective 
bargaining  without  intervention  by  a  government  agency  in 
1985.   The  Wiehanan  Commission  created  in  1986  to  revamp 
Namibia's  outdated  labor  laws  released  its  comprehensive 
report  in  February  1989.   A  second  report  was  completed  in 
December  1989  and  outlines  recommendations  on  changes  in  labor 
practices  which  may  be  considered  by  the  independent 
government.   The  report  covers  international  labor  standards, 
conditions  of  service,  labor  relations,  employment,  training 
and  development,  social  security,  and  labor  administration  and 
suggests  the  establishment  of  a  special  judicial  body  to  deal 
with  labor  disputes.   It  also  establishes  a  system  of 
industrial  courts.   None  of  the  commission's  recommendations 
will  automatically  become  policy;  it  will  be  up  to  the  new 
government  to  draw  up  strategies  and  national  labor  policies. 

Namibia  in  1989  used  a  method  of  resolving  labor-management 
disputes  through  conciliation  boards  under  the  Wage  and 
Industrial  Council  Ordinance.   Under  this  approach,  employees 
or  employers  have  been  able  to  apply  to  the  South 
African-appointed  Administrator-General  (AG)  to  appoint  a 
conciliation  board  composed  of  members  of  both  management  and 
the  unions,  whose  decisions  in  principle  become  binding  on 
both  sides.   The  decisions  in  principle  are  binding  if 
publicly  declared  so  by  the  AG  on  the  recommendation  of  the 
conciliation  board.   The  board  is  composed  of  both  management 
and  union  members  with  no  independent  arbitrator,  a  fact  that 
can  make  it  difficult  to  reach  agreement.   The  conciliation 


259 


NAMIBIA 

board  operates  essentially  on  the  basis  of  a  gentlemen's 
agreement,  because  no  law  evokes  sanctions  against  an 
employer.   If  a  dispute  cannot  be  resolved  by  the  conciliation 
board,  unions  can  seek  the  advice  of  an  independent  mediator. 
Should  this  option  fail,  the  two  parties  could  turn  to  an 
arbitrator  whose  recommendations  would  be  binding. 

General  unions,  i.e.,  unions  representing  workers  in  more  than 
one  industry,  are  permitted  in  Namibia.   A  major  issue  remains 
the  recognition  of  unions  by  individual  companies  and  whether 
these  unions  can  then  be  registered  with  the  AG.   Unregistered 
unions  can  bargain  on  behalf  of  their  members  if  they  are 
recognized  by  management,  but  they  do  not  have  access  to 
conciliation  boards.   Disputes  also  have  arisen,  sometimes  on 
political  lines,  over  which  union  is  entitled  to  represent  the 
workers  at  a  particular  company.   New  wage  concessions  and  a 
minimum  wage  were  negotiated  in  the  building  industry  in  1989. 

There  are  no  export  processing  zones  or  offshore  processing 
facilities  in  Namibia. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Forced  labor  is  prohibited  by  law.   The  implementation  of  the 
U.N.  Plan  threw  additional  light  on  labor  practices  in  the 
white  farming  sector.   Reports  by  17  former  SWAPO  fighters  who 
were  released  from  a  police-run  farm  in  September  indicated 
that  conditions  amounting  to  forced  labor  existed  in  1989. 
Illiterate  and  isolated  farm  workers  in  some  instances 
received  little  compensation,  were  unable  to  leave  the  farm 
without  the  owner's  permission,  were  forbidden  to  speak  to 
outsiders,  and  were,  in  some  cases,  subject  to  physical 
punishment  by  their  employers.   In  one  court  case  in 
September,  evidence  given  by  witnesses  revealed  that  workers 
on  one  farm  were  being  paid  as  little  as  30  cents  a  day;  the 
farm  workers  resorted  to  poaching  game  to  feed  their  families. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

The  minimum  age  for  employment  across  the  board  is  15. 
Minimum  age  regulations  are  generally  enforced  in  the  wage 
sector  pursuant  to  the  Employment  Act  of  1986,  Section  12. 
However,  children  below  the  age  of  15  often  work  on  family 
farms  and  in  the  informal  sector. 

e.  Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

There  is  no  statutory  minimum  wage  in  Namibia.   Several  unions 
adopted  a  "living  wage,"  i.e.,  one  adequate  to  provide  a 
worker  and  his  family  with  basic  shelter,  food,  and  clothing, 
as  a  theme  in  1988  and  1989.   However,  trade  union  leaders 
have  not  settled  on  a  figure.   An  unskilled  worker  in  the 
mining  sector  earns  an  average  $275  per  month. 

Government-mandated  occupational  health  and  safety  standards 
are  similar  to  those  found  in  South  Africa,  but  enforcement  of 
these  standards  outside  the  formal  sector  is  slack.   Improved 
safety  conditions  remained  a  strong  union  demand  in  the  mining 
sector,  particularly  in  the  wake  of  an  accident  in  November 
1988  which  killed  seven  miners  at  the  Kombat  mine  near 
Tsumeb.   The  inquest  proceedings  found  the  company  had  been 
negligent  and  was  culpable  for  the  deaths.   Namibia  also  has 
legislation  mandating  leave  (including  maternity  leave)  and 
overtime  standards.   An  employer  cannot  require  a  female  to 
work  in  a  factory  4  weeks  before  the  expected  birth  date  or  8 


260 

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weeks  after  delivery. 

The  standard  legal  workweek  is  46  hours  under  the  1986 
Conditions  of  Employment  Act,  which  also  allows  for  10  hours 
of  overtime  per  week,  at  time  and  a  third.   The  employee  must 
freely  agree  to  work  overtime.   Legally,  an  increase  of  more 
than  10  hours  of  overtime  per  week  has  to  be  approved  by  the 
Manpower  Commission. 


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HlfiEE 

Niger  is  ruled  by  an  authoritarian  military  regime  headed  by 
General  Ali  Saibou,  who  took  power  following  the  death  of 
former  President  Seyni  Kountche  in  November  1987.   In  1989  the 
military  remained  firmly  in  control,  but  President  Saibou 
promulgated  a  new  Constitution,  approved  in  a  September  24, 
1989  referendum,  which  established  a  secular  one-party  state 
and  replaced  the  Supreme  Military  Council  with  a  joint 
civilian  and  military  Superior  Council  of  National  Orientation 
as  the  nation's  highest  political  body.   Presidential  and 
legislative  elections  in  December  1989  offered  voters  only  a 
yes  or  no  choice  on  the  nominees  selected  by  the  sole 
political  party,  the  National  Movement  of  the  Development 
Society  (MNSD) . 

The  Nigerien  armed  forces  number  about  2,600  members  plus  800 
gendarmes  (paramilitary  police).   Other  security  organizations 
are:   the  Directorate  of  State  Security,  which  reports 
directly  to  the  President;  the  National  Police,  which  is 
responsible  for  maintaining  public  order  and  countering 
antigovernment  activity;  and  a  unit  for  presidential 
protection. 

Niger  is  one  of  the  world's  poorest  countries.   The  economy  is 
based  on  subsistence  farming,  livestock  raising,  and  some  of 
the  world's  largest  uranium  deposits.   However,  cycles  of 
drought,  desertification,  a  3.1  percent  population  growth 
rate,  and  declining  world  demand  for  uranium  since  the  early 
1980 's  have  had  a  serious  negative  impact  on  the  economy. 
Niger  has  a  mixed  economy  with  a  number  of  government-owned 
enterprises  and  diverse  private  firms.   The  Government  is 
attempting  to  reduce  the  number  of  these  state  firms  and  to 
encourage  a  greater  role  for  private  business. 

Basic  human  rights  continued  to  be  circumscribed  in  1989,  but 
there  were  significant  advances,  including  the  advent  of  a  new 
Constitution  and  the  release  of  almost  all  political 
prisoners.   The  new  Constitution  contains  extensive  guarantees 
of  citizens'  rights,  including  freedom  of  speech  and  press, 
which,  if  fully  implemented,  would  represent  a  considerable 
step  forward.   However,  significant  restraints  on  freedom  of 
speech  and  press  remain. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 
There  were  no  reports  of  such  killings  in  1989. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  abductions  or 
disappearances . 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  were  no  reliable  reports  of  systematic  torture  of 
prisoners  or  detainees  in  Niger.   While  occasional  abuses  by 
individual  law  enforcement  or  prison  officers  occur,  the 
Government's  policy  banning  physical  abuse  of  prisoners  and 
detainees  appears  to  be  applied  in  most  cases.   This 


262 


MliSEE 

represents  a  significant  improvement  from  the  situation  which 
prevailed  prior  to  1988.   In  two  incidents  in  July  1989,  law 
enforcement  officers  were  punished  for  mistreatment  of 
detainees.   A  total  of  five  law  enforcement  officials  were 
convicted  and  served  3-month  jail  terms  each. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Article  84  of  Niger's  new  Constitution  specifically  prohibits 
arbitrary  detention,  but  its  application  in  practice  has  yet 
to  be  tested.   Police  do  not  always  need  a  warrant  to  arrest  a 
suspect.   Once  an  arrest  is  made,  the  law  requires  that  the 
suspect  be  either  charged  or  released  within  48  hours.   This 
period  can  be  extended  for  an  additional  48  hours  by  the 
public  prosecutor,  who  is  also  the  head  of  the  judicial 
police.   In  practice,  delays  beyond  those  established  periods 
occur,  and  prisoners  often  spend  months  in  jail  awaiting  trial. 

Preventive  detention  is  permitted  under  Nigerien  law  but  must 
be  ordered  by  an  examining  magistrate.   Suspects  are  held  in 
preventive  detention  for  the  duration  of  the  magistrate's 
investigation  of  the  case,  which  in  some  cases  has  taken  as 
much  as  a  year.   Defendants  are  allowed  access  to  a  lawyer  of 
their  own  choosing.   There  is  a  functioning  system  of  bail  for 
crimes  carrying  a  penalty  of  less  than  10  year's 
imprisonment.   In  1989  President  Saibou  publicly  called  on 
judicial  authorities  to  speed  the  process  of  bringing  accused 
persons  to  trial. 

There  were  no  reports  of  incommunicado  detention.   Also,  there 
were  no  reports  of  arrest,  detention,  or  punishment  for 
expression  of  views  critical  of,  or  different  from,  those  of 
the  Government.   As  far  as  is  known,  there  were  no  political 
detainees  awaiting  trial  at  the  end  of  1989.   Exile  is  not 
used  as  a  means  of  political  control  in  Niger. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Niger's  legal  system  is  an  amalgam  of  French,  Islamic,  and 
customary  law.   Civil  and  criminal  cases  not  involving 
security-related  acts  are  tried  publicly.   Defendants  have  the 
right  to  be  present  at  their  trials,  to  confront  witnesses, 
and  to  present  evidence.   The  new  Constitution  reaffirmed  the 
judicial  principle  that  the  accused  are  presumed  innocent 
until  proven  guilty.   Defendants  have  the  right  to  counsel  at 
public  expense  if  they  are  minors  or  if  they  are  indigent  and 
face  the  prospect  of  a  sentence  of  10  years  or  more.   Both  the 
defendant  and  the  prosecutor  can  appeal  verdicts,  first  to  the 
Court  of  Appeals  and  then  to  the  highest  court,  the  State 
Court.   Both  courts  are  obliged  to  hear  appeals.   The  Court  of 
Appeals  reviews  both  questions  of  fact  and  questions  of  law 
while  the  State  Court  limits  its  review  to  questions  of  law. 
Under  the  new  Constitution,  tne  Supreme  Court,  once 
established,  will  replace  the  State  Court  as  the  highest  court 
and  will  review  the  decisions  of  the  Court  of  Appeals. 

The  Constitution  calls  for  an  independent  judiciary  tut  makes 
the  President  of  the  Republic,  as  Chief  of  the  Executive 
Branch,  the  guarantor  of  this  judicial  independence.   The 
President  has  the  right  of  pardon  in  criminal  cases  and 
invoked  this  right  on  frequent  occasions  in  recent  years.   At 
the  village  level,  matters  such  as  property  disputes  are 
frequently  resolved  by  traditional  courts. 


263 


NIfiEE 

In  June  1985,  the  Kountche  Government  formed  a  special  court 
to  investigate  Civil  Service  corruption.   This  court  meets 
regularly  and  now  only  deals  with  embezzlement  cases  involving 
over  $6,000.   Another  recent  modification  allows  the  accused 
to  be  released  provisionally  upon  repayment  of  the  sum 
embezzled. 

Security-related  cases  are  tried  in  the  State  Security  Court, 
which  operates  outside  the  normal  legal  framework.   This 
Court,  which  has  no  permanent  organization,  was  established  by 
presidential  decree  in  1974.   Its  deliberations  are  held  in 
secret.   According  to  the  Ministry  of  Justice,  a  military 
officer  presides,  but  this  Court  includes  civilian 
magistrates.   It  affords  the  defendant  the  same  legal  rights 
as  he  would  receive  in  a  criminal  case,  with  the  exception  of 
the  right  to  a  public  trial.   There  were  no  known  cases 
brought  before  this  Court  in  1989.   Amnesty  International,  in 
its  1989  Report,  criticized  the  Court's  secrecy  in  retrying 
(at  government  request)  and  convicting  19  persons  (4  in 
absentia)  in  1988  for  involvement  in  an  unsuccessful  coup 
attempt  in  October  1983.   The  Report  concluded  that  a 
defendant's  right  to  trial  by  an  independent  and  impartial 
court  had  not  been  respected. 

At  the  end  of  1989,  there  were  no  political  prisoners  in 
Niger.   On  December  18,  President  Saibou  released  the  last  two 
prisoners  incarcerated  for  participation  in  the  1983  coup 
attempt  against  former  President  Kountche. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  police  need  a  search  warrant  to  enter  homes  except  in 
cases  involving  major  crimes,  when  they  can  enter  at  any  time 
without  a  warrant.   Search  warrants  do  not  permit  searches 
between  the  hours  of  9  p.m.  and  6  a.m.   There  is  no  forced 
membership  in  any  political  organization,  including  the  one 
legal  political  party.   Violations  of  privacy,  such  as 
interference  with  correspondence,  are  illegal  but  are  known  to 
take  place. 

Section  2  Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  new  Nigerien  Constitution  affirms  the  citizen's  right  to 
freedom  of  opinion,  thought,  expression,  press,  publication, 
and  publicity  but  does  not  specifically  prohibit  government 
action  banning  offensive  material.   President  Saibou  has  said 
repeatedly  in  his  public  speeches  that  free  expression  of  all 
viewpoints  and  political  opinions  will  be  allowed  within  the 
sole  political  movement,  the  MNSD.   In  practice,  there  are 
definite  restrictions  on  freedom  of  speech  and  press.   Major 
print  and  electronic  media  are  government  owned  and 
controlled.   Limited  criticism  of  certain  government  officials 
and  some  policies  is  allowed,  but  attacks  on  the  Chief  of 
State,  his  major  policies,  or  the  legitimacy  of  the  regime  are 
not  tolerated.   As  a  practical  matter,  journalists  are 
familiar  with  these  guidelines,  and  there  were  no  known  cases 
of  journalists  being  sanctioned  in  1989. 

There  were  no  reports  in  1989  of  censored  or  banned  magazines 
or  other  publications.   Foreign  films  are  subject  to 
censorship  by  the  Ministry  of  Interior  on  grounds  of  public 
morality  and  political  content. 


264 


h.      Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Niger  is  a  one-party  state  which  does  not  permit  the  assembly 
or  establishment  of  rival  political  groups.   Permits  must  be 
obtained  from  the  Ministry  of  Interior  or  local  police 
authorities  for  public  gatherings.   Permission  is  routinely 
granted  only  to  recognized  groups,  e.g.,  trade  unions  and 
churches.   The  Government  requires  the  registration  of  private 
associations  with  the  Ministry  of  Interior  and  grants  such 
registration  only  to  organizations  which  operate  within  the 
framework  of  the  Government's  policy.   Ethnic  or  racial 
associations  as  well  as  associations  v;hich  the  Government 
believes  threaten  national  unity  are  prohibited. 

For  a  discussion  of  freedom  of  association  as  it  applies  to 
labor  unions,  see  Section  6. a. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Niger  is  a  secular  state.   While  the  population  is  over  90 
percent  Muslim, -the  Government  permits  the  practice  of  other 
religious  beliefs.   Foreign  missionaries  can  live,  work,  and 
travel  in  Niger  but  must  obtain  permission  from  the  Ministry 
of  Interior  for  all  of  their  operations.   Religious  groups  are 
allowed  to  maintain  links  with  fellow  believers  in  other 
countries.   Religious  groups  may  maintain  places  of  worship, 
train  clergy,  publish  religious  material,  provide  religious 
education,  and  participate  in  charitable  activities. 

The  Government,  concerned  by  the  Islamic  fundamentalist 
violence  that  erupts  periodically  in  nearby  northern  Nigeria, 
monitors  Muslim  religious  activity  through  the  Islamic 
Association.   This  Association  is  funded  by  the  Government  and 
assists  in  an  informal  screening  process  of  local  religious 
leaders.   Islamic  services  that  go  beyond  strictly  religious 
subjects  are  not  permitted. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Travel  within  Niger  is  closely  monitored,  although  there  was 
further  relaxation  during  1989.   Police  checks,  often 
entailing  thorough  searches,  take  place  upon  entering  or 
leaving  major  towns  and  cities.   The  former  requirement  for  an 
exit  visa  to  leave  Niger  has  been  abolished.   Neither 
emigration  nor  repatriation  are  restricted.   By  law,  married 
women  must  have  the  permission  of  their  husbands  to  travel 
abroad. 

Niger  is  a  party  to  the  U.N.  Convention  and  Protocol  Relating 
to  the  Status  of  Refugees  and  has  cooperated  with  the  U.N. 
High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  in  handling  the  few  registered 
refugees  currently  in  Niger.   There  was  no  forced  resettlement 
in  1989. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  armed  forces,  under  President  Saibou,  continue  to  dominate 
the  State  leaving  no  realistic  means  for  the  citizens  to 
change  the  Government.   Niger's  new  Constitution  calls  for  a 
one-party  state  and  a  strong  presidency.   Legislative  and 
presidential  elections  are  held  every  5  and  7  years 
respectively.   They  offer  voters  only  a  yes  or  no  option  on  a 
slate  of  candidates  selected  by  the  sole  legal  political  body. 


265 


HlfiEE 

the  MNSD,  created  as  part  of  Niger's  return  to  constitutional 
government  after  15  years  of  direct  military  rule. 

Other  new  institutions  include  the  Superior  Council  of 
National  Orientation  (CSON)  and  a  National  Executive  Bureau 
(BEN) .   The  President  appoints  most  of  the  members  of  both  the 
CSON  and  the  BEN  as  well  as  all  of  the  members  of  the 
Cabinet.   The  top  three  positions  in  the  National  Executive 
Bureau  are  held  by  military  officers  as  are  a  third  of  the 
seats  on  the  CSON.   President  Ali  Saibou  heads  both  the  CSON 
and  the  BEN  and  appoints  all  regional  governors,  who  are 
military  officers.   Through  these  new  institutions,  the  former 
military  regime  hopes  to  improve  consultation  with,  and 
participation  by,  civilians  in  government  while  protecting  the 
political  interests  of  the  military  and  avoiding  competition 
from  alternative  political  organizations. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  is  cooperative  in  answering  inquiries  on  the 
status  of  political  prisoners  of  interest  to  international 
human  rights  groups.   There  are  no  domestic  groups  which 
monitor  the  human  rights  situation  in  Niger.   Niger  is  not 
active  in  regional  and  international  human  rights 
organizations. 

Section  5  Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Four  major  ethnic  groups,  each  with  its  own  language,  make  up 
the  bulk  of  the  population.   The  two  primarily  nomadic  groups, 
Tuaregs  and  Fulani  (Peul),  have  less  access  to  government 
services,  partly  because  their  transient  lifestyles  make  it 
difficult  for  the  Government  to  supply  them  with  services. 

By  tradition  and  practice,  women  occupy  a  subordinate  place  in 
Nigerien  society.   Males  have  considerable  advantages  in  terms 
of  education,  employment,  and  property  rights.   In  cases  of 
divorce,  custody  of  all  children  under  8  years  of  age  is  given 
to  the  husband. 

Conscious  of  the  adverse  situation  of  women,  the  Government 
has  begun  work  on  a  new  family  code,  tried  to  provide  better 
employment  opportunities  to  women,  and  supported  a  national 
women's  association.   Women  are  paid  comparable  wages  to  that 
of  men  and  are  active  in  the  business  community,  although 
commerce  is  dominated  by  men.   The  first  professional 
associations  of  women  traders,  educators,  and  bankers  were 
formed  in  1988.   About  one-third  of  Nigerien  doctors  are 
women,  and  many  of  the  nation's  magistrates  are  women.   The 
Government  continues  to  encourage  family  planning  and  in  1988 
formally  legalized  the  use  of  contraceptives.   Female  genital 
mutilation  (circumcision)  occurs  but  is  not  believed  to  be 
widespread.   It  has  not  received  extensive  attention  from  the 
Government,  but  during  1989  government  media  covered  in  detail 
campaigns  by  the  U.N.  Children's  Fund  and  the  World  Health 
Organization  to  abolish  this  practice. 

Violence  against  women  and  children,  including  wife  beating, 
occurs,  but  the  extent  of  the  problem  of  violence  is  unknown. 
However,  it  is  considered  antisocial  behavior  in  Nigerien 
society,  and  women  often  turn  to  both  traditional  and  modern 
judicial  authorities  in  cases  of  abuse.   The  new  family  code 


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HIiiEfi 

now  under  preparation  specifically  addresses  domestic  violence 
and  is  reported  to  strengthen  existing  legal  provisions  in 
this  area.   In  1989  a  Ministry  of  Women's  and  Social  Affairs 
was  created  which  has  a  broad  mandate  to  improve  the  lot  of 
women  in  society.   The  Association  of  Nigerien  Women  focused 
on  the  topic  of  violence  against  women  at  several  of  its 
conferences,  which  received  substantial  publicity  in  the 
government  media. 

Section  6  Worker  Rights 

a.  The  Right  of  Association 

Approximately  90  percent  of  Niger's  work  force  is  employed  in 
the  rural,  largely  subsistence  sector.   In  the  small  modern 
economy,  workers  have  the  right  to  establish  and  join  trade 
unions,  which  are  organized  under  an  umbrella  group,  the 
National  Union  of  Nigerien  Workers  (USTN) .   The  USTN  is 
nominally  independent  but  is  partially  funded  by  the 
Government  and  is  usually  responsive  to  government  policies. 
The  USTN  has  an-  observer  in  the  MNSD  but  is  not  part  of  the 
party  structure.   The  head  of  the  USTN  is  elected  by  its 
members.   The  USTN  represents  about  30  percent  of  the 
approximately  60,000  salaried  workers  in  Niger. 

Strikes  in  Niger  are  legal  if  conciliation  and  mediation 
procedures  have  been  exhausted.   During  1989  there  were 
strikes  by  bank  employees,  miners,  and  airline  employees,  all 
of  which  were  resolved  by  negotiation. 

The  USTN  is  a  member  of  the  Organization  of  African  Trade 
Union  Unity  and  abides  by  its  policy  of  having  no  formal 
affiliations  outside  the  African  continent. 

b.  The  Right  to  Organize  and  Bargain  Collectively 

Collective  bargaining  is  legally  authorized,  but  the 
Government  is  deeply  involved  in  the  process.   Individual 
unions  are  permitted  to  bargain  for  more  favorable  agreements 
at  their  work  sites.   The  Government  promotes  voluntary 
worker-employer  negotiations  but  does  not  sit  at  the 
bargaining  table  in  private  sector  negotiations.   If  these 
negotiations  fail,  the  Government  becomes  the  arbitrator. 

There  is  a  basic  framework  agreement  which  has  been  in  force 
since  1972  between  the  USTN,  employers,  and  the  Government. 
The  agreement  covers  wages  and  benefits  and  is  extensively 
applied  to  all  sectors  of  the  urban  wage  economy.   This 
agreement  protects  workers  against  antiunion  discrimination. 

Labor  legislation  is  applied  uniformly  throughout  the  country, 
and  there  are  no  export  processing  zones  in  Niger. 

c.  Prohibition  of  Forced  or  Compulsory  Labor 

Niger's  labor  code  prohibits  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  and 
it  is  generally  not  practiced.   The  last  reported  instance  of 
forced  labor  was  during  the  1985  drought  emergency  when 
displaced  herders,  primarily  ethnic  Tuaregs  and  Fulanis,  were 
in  some  instances  required  to  work  on  food-growing  projects. 

d.  Minimum  Age  for  Employment  of  Children 

Children  between  the  ages  of  12  and  18  may  be  employed,  but 
there  are  strict  provisions  concerning  the  hours  of  employment 


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and  types  of  employment  for  children  in  this  age  group.   All 
labor  provisions,  including  those  concerning  child  labor,  are 
applied  in  practice  only  in  urban  areas.   In  the  subsistence 
agricultural  sector,  which  employs  most  Nigeriens,  children 
work  on  family  plots  under  conditions  which  are  not  in 
compliance  with  the  provisions  of  the  labor  code.   Education 
is  by  law  free  and  compulsory  from  age  7.   However,  only  about 
a  quarter  of  Nigerien  children  of  primary  school  age  actually 
attend  schools,  with  an  even  lower  proportion  attending  middle 
school  and  high  school. 

e.   Acceptable  Conditions  of  Work 

The  legal  minimum  wage  for  salaried  workers  is  approximately 
$66  per  month.   According  to  union  officials,  this  wage  is  not 
sufficient  to  provide  a  decent  living  for  workers  and  their 
families.   Because  of  the  country's  depressed  economy,  the 
Government  has  increased  salaries  by  only  6  percent  since 
1980,  despite  tfie  rising  cost  of  living. 

The  legal  workweek  is  40  hours.   However,  according  to  the 
labor  code,  certain  occupations  requiring  irregular  hours  are 
authorized  longer  workweeks,  with  a  maximum  of  72  hours.   The 
labor  code  also  provides  occupational  safety  and  health 
regulations  which  are  enforced  by  the  labor  inspectors  in  the 
Ministry  of  Civil  Service,  Labor,  and  Professional  Training. 
Because  of  staff  shortages,  this  office  focuses  mainly  on  the 
mining,  building,  and  industrial  sectors  for  safety 
violations.   According  to  a  Ministry  official,  compliance  is 
often  difficult  to  enforce  because  of  the  attitude  of  the 
workers  who  are  relatively  uneducated  and  are  therefore  not 
fully  cognizant  of  the  safety  risks  posed  in  their  jobs.   They 
often  complain  and  refuse  to  wear  protective  clothing  because 
of  Niger's  hot  climate.   For  the  most  part,  employers  have 
been  responsive  in  providing  safety  equipment. 


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Nigeria  is  ruled  by  a  military  regime  headed  by  President 
Ibrahim  Babangida,  who  came  to  power  by  a  military  coup  in 
August  1985,  overthrowing  a  previous  military  regime  which  in 
turn  had  seized  power  from  civilians  in  December  1983.   A 
19-member  Armed  Forces  Ruling  Council  (AFRC)  is  the  country's 
main  decisionmaking  organ,  while  a  mixed  military/civilian 
cabinet  presides  over  the  Federal  Military  Government's  (FMG) 
executive  functions.   Military  governors  head  each  of  the  21 
states,  while  a  minister  heads  the  Federal  Capital  Territory, 
Abuja.   The  1979  Constitution  remains  partially  in  effect,  but 
significant  provisions,  namely  those  guaranteeing  free 
elections,  political  parties,  due  process,  and  habeas  corpus 
are  suspended.   Federal  and  state  legislation,  promulgated  by 
decree,  is  largely  exempt  from  challenge  in  the  courts.   The 
FMG  continues  to  plan  a  transition  to  democratic,  civilian 
rule  with  a  prescribed  two-party  system  by  1992  (postponed 
from  1990) . 

The  Constituent  Assembly,  consisting  of  450  locally  elected 
members  and  111  FMG-nominated  members,  submitted  its  revisions 
to  the  1979  Constitution  to  the  AFRC  in  March  1989.   The  AFRC 
in  May  approved  the  draft  constitution,  which  is  influenced  by 
the  U.S.  Constitution;  it  remains  substantially  similar  to  the 
1979  Constitution  and  is  scheduled  to  become  law  on  October  1, 
1992.   In  October,  however.  President  Babangida  abolished 
newly  emerged  political  associations  for  failing  to  meet 
guidelines  for  registering  national  parties.   Then  in  December 
the  AFRC  established  two  national  parties,  one  "slightly  to 
the  left"  and  the  other  "slightly  to  the  right."   It  also 
delayed  local  and  state  level  elections  to  allow  the  new 
parties  to  become  organized  but  maintained  the  October  1992 
date  for  the  return  to  civilian  rule. 

The  FMG  enforces  its  authority  through  the  Federal  security 
apparatus — the  military,  the  State  Security  Service  (SSS),  and 
the  national  police--and  through  the  courts.   Deficiencies  in 
organization,  management,  and  control  often  lead  to  ongoing 
human  rights  violations:   arbitrary  arrests,  detention  without 
trial,  and  excessive  use  of  force  by  law  enforcement  officers. 

Most  of  Nigeria's  100-million-plus  population  still  lives  in 
rural  areas,  engaging  in  small-scale  agriculture.   Nigeria  is 
dependent  upon  its  oil  exports  (90  percent  of  all  export 
revenues  in  1988)  to  pay  for  needed  imports  and  service  its 
massive  foreign  debt  ($33  billion  at  the  end  of  1988).   The 
decline  in  world  oil  prices  caused  a  drop  in  Nigeria's  oil 
revenues  from  $26  billion  in  1981  to  $6  billion  in  1985.   To 
address  the  massive  contraction  of  the  economy.  President 
Babangida  imposed  in  1986  a  Structural  Adjustment  Program 
(SAP),  which  required  radical  adjustments  to  economic 
policies.   These  factors  taken  in  combination  have  led  to  a 
substantial  decline  in  the  standard  of  living  over  the  past 
decade. 

Human  rights  continued  to  be  subject  to  limitation  in  1989. 
While  the  Government  frequently  voiced  its  commitment  to  human 
rights,  it  took  a  harder  line  with  its  critics  following  riots 
in  Lagos  and  other  southern  cities  in  May  and  June.   These 
disturbances,  triggered  in  part  by  increasing  prices, 
encompassed  allegations  of  corruption  against  top  leaders, 
including  President  Babangida,  and  criticism  of  the  SAP.   The 
security  apparatus  responded  with  force,  killing  at  least  22 
persons  according  to  official  reports,  injuring  many  others. 


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and  arresting  hundreds,  many  of  whom  remained  imprisoned  at 
the  end  of  1989.   Many  universities  and  several  newspapers 
were  closed  temporarily,  and  journalists  and  activists  were 
detained  for  alleging  corruption  of  certain  high  officials  and 
challenging  the  SAP.   In  December,  however,  the  Government 
abolished  "wandering"  as  a  criminal  offense  (akin  to  vagrancy), 
which  could  benefit  hundreds  of  Nigerians  held  without  formal 
charge.   Furthermore,  on  December  31,  1989,  the  FMG  announced 
an  amnesty  of  prisoners  to  alleviate  overcrowded  prisons. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  and  Other  Extrajudicial  Killing 

There  was  no  evidence  of  politically  motivated  killing  at 
government  or  private  instigation  in  1989. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  disappearance. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

A  portion  of  the  1979  Constitution  still  in  effect  outlaws 
torture  and  mistreatment  of  prisoners,  and  Nigerian  law 
provides  penalties  for  excesses.   There  was  no  evidence  of  the 
systematic  use  of  torture  by  Nigerian  authorities  in  1989, 
although  in  April  a  High  Court  Judge  ruled  against  the 
defendant  in  one  police  torture  case.   Moreover,  there  were 
persistent,  though  unsubstantiated,  allegations  that  capital 
punishment  of  convicted  armed  robbers  is  sometimes  carried  out 
in  an  inhumane  way.   Other  public  allegations  and  evidence  of 
police  brutality  surfaced  periodically  in  1989  in  connection 
with  the  treatment  of  common  criminals  and  with  relation  to 
the  Ketu  incident  (Section  l.g.). 

There  are  also  frequent  charges  of  police  brutality  or 
arbitrary  treatment  at  police  checkpoints.   Ostensibly  to 
combat  the  high  crime  rate,  these  checkpoints  are  set  up 
throughout  the  country,  and  police  are  often  accused  of 
demanding  bribes  or  producing  false  arrests.   Human  rights 
activists  and  other  observers  claim  that  police  make  arbitrary 
arrests  and  attempt  to  extract  small  bribes  during  transport 
to  detention  facilities.   There  have  also  been  cases  of 
military  personnel  harassing  citizens  or  taking  the  law  into 
their  own  hands  over  personal  disputes  without  being 
disciplined  or  punished.   The  Government  has  spoken  out 
against  these  practices,  but  there  have  been  few  prosecutions 
for  them. 

The  press  reports  that  prison  conditions  remain  poor  and  that 
the  prison  system  is  operating  at  200  percent  of  capacity. 
Conditions  likely  worsened  from  the  large  influx  of  new 
detainees  following  the  riots  in  May  and  June.   The  Government 
has  acknowledged  overcrowding  and  has  announced  a  program  to 
build  new  prisons,  although  little  construction  began  in 
1989.   The  combination  of  overcrowding,  disease,  and 
malnutrition  in  prisons  has  resulted  in  a  heavy  death  toll. 
According  to  reputable  press  sources,  the  Ikoyi  prison  in 
Lagos,  housing  2,500  though  designed  for  800,  recorded  42 
deaths  in  the  first  3  months  of  1989  and  over  300  deaths  in 


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1988.   Most  Nigerian  prisons  have  no  toilet  facilities  and  no 
water  in  the  cells.   Press  sources  report  that  the  Benin 
prison  has  one  water  tap  Cor  its  800  prisoners.   They  are 
often  forced  by  overcrowding  to  sleep  in  shifts,  crouched  on 
the  cell  floor.   Prisoners  often  accuse  underpaid  prison 
wardens  of  stealing  food  supplies.   The  insane,  the  diseased, 
juveniles,  convicts,  and  suspects  are  all  housed  in  the  same 
cells . 

The  existence  of  a  secret  government  prison  on  Ita  Oka  Island 
was  revealed  in  1988  by  the  Nigerian  Civil  Liberties 
Organization  and  was  publicized  by  a  leading  Lagos  newspaper. 
The  Government  announced  10  days  later  that  the  facility  had 
been  closed,  but  in  1989  there  were  new  allegations  that  the 
facility  still  houses  prisoners. 

d.   Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  or  Exile 

Cumbersome  administrative  procedures  and  bureaucratic 
inefficiency  can  result  in  persons  suspected  of  criminal 
offenses  being  held  for  extended  periods  without  charge  or 
trial.   This  is  so  even  though  provisions  of  the  1979 
Constitution  still  in  force  guarantee  persons  charged  with 
crimes  a  fair  public  trial  in  civilian  courts  within  3  months 
of  the  date  of  arrest.   Criminal  justice  officials,  however, 
freely  admit  that  the  system  is  so  overburdened  that  the 
3-month  time  limit  is  rarely  met.   A  report  was  submitted  to 
the  Attorney  General  in  1989  which  included  unpublished 
recommendations  for  correcting  these  abuses.   In  December, 
however,  the  Government  abolished  the  criminal  offense  of 
"wandering,"  a  hold-over  from  colonial  statutes  designed  to 
exclude  Nigerians  from  government-restricted  areas.   The 
statute  had  been  misused  as  a  vagrancy  law  and  an  excuse  for 
police  officers  to  detain  persons  without  charge.   On  December 
31,  1989,  the  FMG  announced  a  broad  amnesty  of  convicted 
prisoners  to  alleviate  greatly  overcrowded  prison  conditions. 

Certain  high  court  chief  judges  continued  in  1989  to  exercise 
their  right  to  release  detainees  who  have  already  spent  more 
time  in  prison  than  they  would  serve  if  convicted  of  the 
crimes  of  which  they  are  accused.   However,  human  rights 
activists  claim  that  60  percent  or  more  of  a  prison  population 
of  58,000  are  awaiting  trial — often  for  many  years--for 
offenses  that  carry  a  sentence  of  2  years  or  less. 

The  Babangida  Government  has  retained  the  authority  to  detain 
without  charge  persons  suspected  of  acts  prejudicial  to  state 
security  or  harmful  to  the  economic  well-being  of  the  country, 
as  well  as  those  suspected  of  being  a  threat  to  the  Government 
under  Decree  2  of  1984,  the  State  Security  (Detention  of 
Persons)  Decree.   This  Decree  suspends  sections  of  the  1979 
Constitution  guaranteeing  citizens  the  right  to  fair  trial, 
due  process,  and  judicial  determination  of  the  legality  of 
detention  (habeas  corpus).   While  it  imposes  no  time  limit  and 
disallows  challenges  of  the  detention  in  a  court  of  law,  the 
Decree  provides  for  administrative  review  of  such  cases  every 
3  months . 

Arrest  authority  under  this  Decree  was  expanded  in  1989  and 
was  shared  by  the  Chief  of  General  Staff,  the  Minister  of 
Internal  Affairs,  and  the  Inspector-General  of  Police.   The 
Government  showed  a  penchant  for  using  Decree  2  arbitrarily  to 
detain  persons  it  considered  a  threat  to  "public  order"--which 
critics  charged  too  often  meant  simple  opposition  to  key 


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NIGERIA 

government  policies — for  an  indefinite  period  of  time.   Human 
rights  activists  and  lawyers  groups  sharply  attacked  the 
Government  on  the  issue  of  Decree  2  throughout  1989.   The 
Government,  through  its  civilian  Minister  of  Justice,  publicly 
defended  the  security  merits  of  Decree  2  and  claimed  that  the 
Babangida  regime  has  invoked  it  less  often  than  the  Buhari 
regime  or  other  previous  military  regimes  using  similar 
decrees.   Human  rights  observers,  however,  accused  the 
Government  by  its  stance  on  Decree  2  of  paying  only  lip 
service  to  human  rights.   They  claimed  in  late  August  that 
there  were  currently  about  90  persons  detained  under  Decree  2, 
80  of  whom  were  in  Lagos  prisons. 

The  most  celebrated  Decree  2  case  of  1989  was  that  of 
outspoken  government  critic  and  Lagos  lawyer.  Chief  Gani 
Fawehinmi.   Fawehinmi,  with  several  other  persons,  was 
arrested  soon  after  the  May/June  riots,  ostensibly  for 
attempting  to  organize  a  conference  on  alternatives  to  the 
SAP.   Soon  after  his  arrest,  Fawehinmi  was  transferred 
clandestinely  to  a  prison  facility  in  Borno  State.   In 
September,  after  3  months  of  public  outcry,  Fawehinmi  was 
brought  back  to  Lagos,  charged  with  disrupting  the  transition 
to  civilian  rule,  granted  bail,  and  immediately  rearrested 
under  Decree  2  and  returned  to  Borno  State.   In  October  1989, 
however,  the  FMG  released  Fawehinmi  while  awaiting  trial. 
Since  he  continued  to  speak  out  on  political  issues,  there 
were  apparently  no  restrictions  on  his  freedom  of  speech,  and 
his  passport  was  restored  to  him. 

In  another  highly  publicized  Decree  2  case,  the  FMG  released 
Alhaji  Balarabe  Musa,  former  governor  of  Kaduna  State  on 
October  10  after  155  days  of  detention  for  unauthorized 
political  activity.   Musa  launched  the  People's  Liberation 
Party  in  May,  even  though  he  is  banned  from  pplitics  until 
1992  (see  Section  2.b.). 

Many  detainees  are  held  on  grounds  other  than  Decree  2.   Human 
rights  activists  claim  that  detainees  being  held  without 
charge  in  connection  with  the  May/June  riots  and  as  a  result 
of  shortcomings  in  the  administration  of  the  criminal  justice 
system  still  numbered  in  the  hundreds  at  the  end  of  1989  and 
that  the  families  of  those  still  in  jail  or  who  have 
"disappeared"  in  the  system  refuse  to  go  public  for  fear  of 
arrest . 

Tn  1989  the  Government  continued  a  process,  begun  in  1986,  of 
reviewing  the  cases  of  persons  detained  or  convicted  under 
various  decrees  during  the  previous  military  administration 
(1984-1985),  many  of  whom  have  already  been  released.   In 
addition,  all  of  those  arrested  as  a  result  of  the  1985  coup 
which  brought  Babangida  into  power  have  been  released, 
including  former  Head  of  State  Muhamadu  Buhari  and  his 
second-in-command,  Tunde  Idiagbon. 

With  regard  to  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  see  Section  6.c. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  1984  Decree  modifying  the  1979  Constitution  left  the 
judiciary  relatively  intact,  but  it  shifted  judicial 
responsibility  for  certain  specified  offenses  to  special 
military  tribunals  established  outside  the  regular  judicial 
system.   The  latter  is  composed  of  both  federal  and  state 
courts  and  includes  procedures  for  appeals  from  courts  of 
first  instance  to  appeal  courts  at  state  levels,  then  to  the 


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Federal  Court  of  Appeal,  and  finally  to  the  Federal  Supreme 
Court.   Courts  of  first  instance  under  the  1979  Constitution 
include  magistrate  or  district  courts,  customary  or  area 
courts,  religious  or  Shari'a  courts,  and,  for  some  specified 
cases,  the  state  High  Courts.   In  some  instances,  the  nature 
of  the  case  determines  which  court  has  jurisdiction.   In 
principle,  customary  and  Shari'a  courts  have  jurisdiction  only 
if  both  the  plaintiff  and  the  defendant  agree  to  it,  though  in 
practice  fear  of  legal  costs,  delay,  and  distance  to  other 
alternative  courts  push  a  number  of  litigants  into  these 
courts.   Under  the  1989  draft  constitution  (which  is  scheduled 
to  come  into  force  in  1992)  Shari'a  (Islamic)  courts  are 
limited  to  followers  of  Islam  and  effectively  confined  to  the 
11  northern  states  of  Nigeria. 

Trials  in  the  regular  court  system  are  public  and  respect 
certain  constitutionally  guaranteed  individual  rights.   These 
include  a  presumption  of  innocence,  the  right  to  be  present  at 
a  public  trial,  to  confront  witnesses  and  present  evidence, 
and  to  be  represented  by  legal  counsel,  if  so  desired.   In 
capital  cases,  the  Government  provides  counsel  for  indigent 
defendants.   In  other  cases,  indigents  must  rely  for  counsel 
on  the  Nigerian  legal  aid  council,  which  has  limited 
resources.   Assistance  is  extended  under  the  Legal  Aid  Act  of 
1976  to  persons  with  incomes  of  up  to  about  $200  (at  the 
current  official  rate  of  exchange)  per  year.   There  is  legal 
provision  for  bail,  though  the  Nigerian  Bar  Association 
charges  that  bail  is  underutilized  with  the  result  that  many 
accused  persons  remain  in  jail  while  awaiting  trial  for  petty 
offenses.   Bail  is  denied  to  those  charged  with  murder  and 
armed  robbery. 

Th